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4 Ways To Fight Against Anti-Semitism And Racism

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My daughter and I converted to Judaism together when she was 8 months old. I was afraid of what we might face because of anti-semitism.

However, my love for Judaism far outweighed my fear of anti-semitism. So I felt the fear and I converted anyway. My partner, Todd and I both felt the fear for Lucy and we converted her anyway.

I am proud to be a Jew. Although I was raised Catholic, my religion of choice is Judaism. I have been learning and practicing Judaism for the last 20 years. I may not have a family member who was affected by the Holocaust, but Lucy does. The story of how Lucy’s great grandfather walked from France to Spain across mountains to get to safety after he escaped being captured by Nazis inspired me. He communicated in code with Lucy’s great grandmother through newspapers so they could be reunited and get on a boat to America. The boat they were on was sunk by the Nazis on its way back to get more people to America as I understand it. This is not my story, it is Lucy’s story. It’s a Jacobson story. It is a story of feeling unimaginable fear and taking brave actions with tremendous courage. He felt the fear and he did it anyway.

We changed Lucy’s name from Peterson to Jacobson after she converted understanding what she might face in her life with that last name. We felt the fear and we did it anyway because we wanted her to know who she was and be proud of her Jewish heritage.

My daughter Lucy Jacobson is almost 6 years old now and she goes to a Jewish school. She loves it. She is kind and caring because she goes to a school that teaches kindness, compassion and love every day. It’s beautiful. We knew what it meant to send her to a Jewish school. We knew she would be in a school that had to be heavily guarded. We felt the fear and we sent her anyway.

Lucy Jacobson is also strong, brave, smart and beautiful because we tell her those exact words every single day of her life for the past few years. She will grow up with those thoughts embedded into her subconscious and that is how she will take action in her life from that perspective. I want her to feel the fear of her deepest desires and do it anyway.

So here are 4 ways I fight against anti-semitism and racism.

1. STAND UP FOR MY BELIEFS:
I speak out against those who believe they are superior to others. If I hear something I say something so they know I do not support that behavior. I don’t laugh at racist jokes. From now on I will ask with curiosity why exactly do they think that is funny with the hope that would help the person understand their motivation to spread hate.

2. SUPPORT OTHERS WITH STRONG VOICES:
I do what I can to support others who oppose any type of racism including sending them love and Reiki healing energy so they may have the strength to stand up for as long as it takes to heal this darkness.

3. CONSCIOUSLY RAISE MY KID
I continue to raise my daughter to be proud of who she is and her heritage. I reinforce the belief in herself through daily affirmations of her strength, courage, intelligence, beauty and love.

4. SPREAD MORE LOVE NOT HATE
This is the most difficult one but I believe it is the fastest way to heal racism. I will continue to send Reiki healing energy to the people who are racist. The reason I do this is very important to me. I believe that the reason they are racist is because they hate themselves more than they hate me for being Jewish. They hate themselves more than they hate me for having an African American heritage. So if I can help them heal the hatred they feel for themselves, then perhaps that darkness they are spreading will begin to heal. We cannot heal hatred with more hatred. It just doesn’t work.

So what can you do to fight against racism and anti-semitism with love and not more hate? I’m curious.

With gratitude,
Jennifer Peterson

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