Yesterday I went to the closet and pulled out my grandmother’s Hanukkah menorah. As many of you know, when I went to Queens College I lived with my grandmother, for whom every Jewish ritual and holiday was precious. My grandmother’s menorah, which she used for more than 60 years, was a wedding present from her parents. It was the one thing of hers I wanted when she passed away, and the same one Matt and I will light with our son, Ethan, this Hanukkah.
Ethan is at an age where his focus is on the glow of the lit candles, amazed at the wonderment of the flame. My hope is that as he grows up, Ethan will become fascinated by the candles’ meaning, too: that when our days are darkest we gather together with family to bring light and hope into the world.
The aim of our work at Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice is to do just that: hold America to its promise as a land of opportunity and justice for all.
In 2012 we have made great strides together. In California this November, Bend the Arc volunteers and staff were instrumental in achieving the passage of Proposition 30, a turning point in the ongoing post-recession debate over taxes and funding vital social programs. Millions of Californians were persuaded to raise taxes to fund education, which is truly amazing given the many millions of dollars poured into defeating Proposition 30, much of it from out-of-state billionaires.
And the results were immediate:
- The University of California took a planned 20% tuition hike off the table
- Community colleges announced they will add classes to serve 20,000 additional students
- In Los Angeles community colleges alone, 200 new classes will be added this Spring
Help us continue to advocate for solutions that strengthen our communities and build us up as a nation. In the spirit of Hanukkah – help light the path toward opportunity and justice for all.
May the Hanukkah lights bring much warmth and joy to you and your loved ones.
Alan van Capelle,
Chief Executive Officer
P.S. Give today and your gift will go twice as far. Alex Soros, a generous supporter of Bend the Arc, will match all gifts up to $400,000.