As the community prepares for Passover, we are reminded once again of the importance of freedom.
Freedom is a critical component of the Passover story. “Once we were slaves; now we are free” is a central theme in the Haggadah. As Americans, we are grateful to live in
a country where we enjoy many freedoms, including the opportunity to practice the religion of our choice.
But freedom is more than being liberated from slavery or from being under the power of another. A lack of freedom can also come from being constrained in having a choice or action. For the poor, it may mean a lack of peace of mind, good health, an education, safety, a dependable livelihood and a steady source of income, or basic necessities such as food. Those in poverty suffer from more than a lack of material things (money, shelter, and clothing), they often live in risky environments, have more insecurities, less opportunities and are making daily choices that have nothing to do with freedom.
Each day, we receive calls from individuals who face those kind of constraints. Whether it be an individual who is unemployed and doesn’t know how they can pay for both rent and utilities; a senior who has to choose between buying groceries or a prescription medicine; a young mother who is trying to decide whether to stay in an abusive relationship or seek an unknown life on her own.
As the holiday approaches, we realize once again how important – and yet how fragile – freedom is. We are grateful to be able to provide the programs and services that help people in need and we are equally grateful for your support so we are able to continue helping people help themselves.
From all of us at Jewish Family & Community Services . . . a Happy Passover,
Colleen Rodriguez, Executive Director