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Out of darkness comes light: Springfield Jewish Community Center fire illuminated community’s generosity

“You can look at anyone and say: You are a part of me I don’t yet know. From there, we begin to transform the world around us, and inside us.”

– Valerie Kaur, lawyer, filmmaker, and civil rights leader

Out of darkness comes light. On the night of Nov. 18, the Springfield Jewish Community Center was enveloped in darkness because of a fire that significantly damaged areas of the facility and closed the building, impacting our ability to provide childcare, wellness activities, and other critical services.

Despite the darkness of that evening, it didn’t take long for the light to begin shining again.

As natives of Birmingham, Alabama, my family – myself as a white Jewish woman, my Black Jewish husband and our biracial child – is no stranger to the implications of racism and prejudice being woven into the fabric of a city. In fact, part of the reason we moved to Springfield in 2021 was a yearning for a more inclusive and diverse community.


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