Editor's note: CEO Neil Meltzer's monthly diversity message was sent to LifeBridge Health employees on October 1.
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, will begin at sundown on Sunday, Oct. 2. It’s the first High Holiday (or High Holy Day) over a 10-day period that ends with Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year. Jewish people from all over the world celebrate Rosh Hashanah in different ways, but two universal traditions are hearing the sound of the shofar (a hollowed-out ram’s horn), and eating apples dipped in honey to symbolize and evoke a sweet new year.. Over the two-day holiday, Jews not only proclaim God’s creation of the world, but they reflect on the past year’s tribulations and successes.
Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, falls on Oct. 11 to 12 and is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Setting aside this “Sabbath of Sabbath days,” Jewish people pray to atone for their sins, while fasting and abstaining from work.
Sukkot, or the Feast of Booths, runs from Oct. 16 to Oct. 23. The Jewish festival commemorates the sheltering of the Israelites in the wilderness and is one of three biblically based pilgrimage holidays known as the Shalosh Regalim. Lasting for seven days, this holiday celebrates the fall harvest.
Italian-Americans also have cause for celebration this month. October has become known as National Italian American Heritage Month. More than 5.5 million people emigrated from Italy between 1820 and 1992, making Italians one of the largest ethnic groups in the U.S. Italians overcame widespread discrimination upon their arrival to become leaders in the arts, sciences, politics and industry. This month is good opportunity to celebrate Italian American accomplishments and to learn more about their history, language and culture.
National Coming Out Day is a chance to honor our friends and loved ones who publically identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ). On Oct. 11, members of the LGBTQ community and their advocates come together to raise awareness of LGBTQ issues around the world. Observed in America, Australia, Canada, Croatia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, the holiday acknowledges the advancements that have been made in civil rights; however, there is still a lot more to be done!
Oct. 24 is United Nations Day! It was established to commemorate the work the U.N. has done to further the causes of justice and equality among the peoples of the world. Marking the ratification of the U.N.’s founding document back in 1945, many celebrations include cross-cultural foods and performances to reflect the U.N.’s mission of spreading cultural awareness and understanding. Each one of us has the power to take the U.N.’s message to heart and create a more peaceful, compassionate world by treating each other with dignity and respect.
At LifeBridge Health we celebrate both what makes us diverse and unique, and what makes us the same — our shared purpose of caring for the community together.
— Written by Neil Meltzer, president and CEO of LifeBridge Health
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