Season of Reflection

September 17, 2021

Dear LMU Community: 

I share an encouraging development that exemplifies the solidarity and action we seek in our continuous journey toward inclusivity and realizing more fully our mission. We are finalizing an affiliation with the Academy for Jewish Religion California (AJRCA), which educates rabbis, cantors, educators, and chaplains to serve diverse Jewish congregations and organizations. This is a natural evolutionary outcome of our longtime collaboration with the AJRCA, having roots in BCLA’s Jewish Studies program

I am confident that this collaboration will be a bridge toward further enrichment of the relationship between our Jewish and Catholic communities, enhancing engagement across the LMU curriculum and campus life. Provost Poon will share more information about our expanded relationship with the AJRCA soon. 

In the wake of the recent anti-Black racist acts, I note that our fight against antisemitism is integral to our anti-racism work and central to the Vatican II’s Nostra aetate. We stand with our Jewish community against antisemitic hate in all its forms, affirming what Pope Francis rejects as neither human nor Christian

Of course, this message propels us to observe that during the season of High Holy Days, our Jewish community offers us an opportunity for reflection and inspires us to start the year anew with openness to the unknown and with an abundance of love and care for, and with, one another. I am grateful to you each for your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion—as part of our intellectual life and creation—and your actions that bolster our mission and bring us closer together. Rabbi Zach Zysman’s beautiful Yom Kippur reflection underscores the holiness of encounter and reminds us that at LMU, our diversity is our strength. 

In peace, love, and kinship, 

Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.