My America is better than this.

In my America, no one has to flinch at a loud bang because it’s just a car backfiring.

In my America, police don’t pay attention to a young black man driving by because there’s nothing wrong with that.

In my America, no synagogue, church or mosque has to hire armed guards to protect themselves because harming someone at prayer is unimaginable.

In my America, refugees and immigrants are welcomed with open arms by state, local and federal governments that offer services to help them become successful Americans.

In my America, Hanukkah is a fun and festive holiday, not a time of fear and mourning for Jews who are experiencing anti-Semitic attack after attack.

My America is not a pipe dream because my America is possible. I will go to my grave believing this, and I will go to my grave working for this.

Tonight, I will light a menorah in my window for the last night of Hanukkah. I will not allow myself to be “othered.” I will  not allow myself to give way to fear.

Every day, I will reach out to any and everyone, teaching about myself and learning about them.

Some day, my America will exist. It must. We have no choice because the alternative is today, and tomorrow is too terrible to imagine.