Channeling Queen Esther’s Diplomacy For Refugees

On Purim, the Jewish community honors the heroic actions of Queen Esther, who reversed Haman’s evil plot to persecute and annihilate the Jewish people.

How did she do it? By engaging in quiet diplomacy with her husband King Ahashverosh and building empathy for the fate of the Jews.

This Purim, Rabbi Rachel Grant Meyer, Director of Education at HIAS, is making the case that members of the American Jewish community need to take it a step further, by following in Queen Esther’s footsteps and speaking out to those closest to them about refugees.

In an op-ed published today on Scribe, the Forward’s curated contributor network, she challenges the community “to commit to having at least one conversation with a family member, co-worker or friend on behalf of today’s refugees.”

Grant Meyer acknowledges that “these are not easy conversations to have,” but that they “require us to think like Esther – to embrace what makes us uncomfortable or nervous and act in spite of those hesitations. It is not our responsibility to change every person’s mind with one conversation, but it is our responsibility to initiate those conversations.”

“Queen Esther ultimately saved thousands of lives,” she writes.

“Together, we have the power – one interaction at a time – to change hearts and minds to keep the doors of our country open."

To read Rabbi Rachel Grant Meyer’s full op-ed, click here, and click here to download the #BeEsther Guide to How to Talk About Refugees with Family and Friends.

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