Coming together

Coming together

One of the greatest things about Pittsburgh is that the Jewish community is large and diverse. Whether you’re affiliated with the Reconstructionist, Reform, Conservative, Orthodox or Chabad movements, there is a place for everyone. Yet, while we are fortunate to have many different choices of where and how to worship, it is also important to remember that which we have in common — we are all Jews.
So, when we heard that Jews from different movements and organizations, including members of Adat Shalom, Temple Ohav Shalom, Chabad of Fox Chapel and Shalom Pittsburgh of the United Jewish Federation, were jointly planning a snow tubing event for Feb. 8, it got our attention.
Shalom Pittsburgh associate Stephanie Brenner said an event like this is rare. She’s right. Even though joint events are not new, they don’t happen as frequently as they should.
We hope that this Sunday’s family-friendly event is a success and that it will lead to future joint efforts, maybe even start a tradition that will lead to Pittsburgh Jews working together when it comes to having fun.
Coming up next month — March 7 — youth groups of all denominations will enjoy a Purim Masquerade Ball at the South Hills Jewish Community Center. This collaborative effort, planned by our children, is hopefullly a sign of good things to come. Young Jews from all over the city will celebrate Purim together, regardless of where they pray week-to-week.
We couldn’t be happier that Pittsburgh Jews are joining together regardless of differing levels of observance. With Israelis being attacked by rockets, and signs of anti-Semitism erupting in the United States and around the world, we should set our sights on supporting each other.
So let’s use the Fox Chapel Snow Tubing Day and the Purim Masquerade Ball as positive precedents in planning communitywide Jewish events in Pittsburgh. Of course, each congregation should have events specific to its own members and its own members’ interests and levels of observance — that’s part of the glue that holds these unique organizations together.
But let’s also find ways to join together more often, collaborating on fun programs that everyone can enjoy — that’s the glue that holds our Jewish community together.