In the last seventy years, since the establishment of the State of Israel, it’s become a widespread assumption that Israel is the center of Jewish life for all Jews. But Jews live on six continents and have created hundreds of Jewish cultures, rooted in very different histories. Jewish life has many centers.
One of the guiding principles of our work in Rimonim is our belief that safety for Jews lies in solidarity among peoples and not in settling for a militarized state or policies of domination. One way we express this is by embracing and learning from ALL the ways Jews have lived in the world. Emphasizing the variety of Jewish experience and drawing our spiritual sustenance from the full breadth of our histories frees us from the story that Jews have always and everywhere been persecuted, when that has been primarily a European experience, and that our suffering is unique in world history, so we should not be bound by the same rules as other people. Recognizing that many peoples have faced genocide in all its forms, that many peoples have endured enslavement, dictatorship, famine, occupation doesn't diminish the meaning of Jewish history. It enriches it.
There have been many times and places where Jews lived well in multi-ethnic, multi-religious societies, but a Eurocentric version of Jewish history erases those stories. When we root ourselves in the full range of Jewish experience we challenge the assumption that white, European heritage Jews get to define who Jews are, and we celebrate Jews as a multiracial, multilingual, infinitely varied global people, which is our strength.