For the inaugural issue of Weld, we asked dozens of people from throughout the community — young and not-so-young; male and female; black, white, Hispanic and Asian; Christian, Muslim, Jewish and agnostic; students, professionals, artists and more — to each give us one idea for making Birmingham better. This is one of those ideas. You can read more here.
Joyce T. Spielberger • Director of Community Relations for the Birmingham Jewish Federation
I think the answer to a better Birmingham lies within each of us… literally.
In my role as director of community relations for the Birmingham Jewish Federation, I work every day to connect our Jewish community to the broader community. It is my belief that when people of different faiths and cultures take the time to get to know each other the less distrust, bias and separation. The people of Birmingham need to embrace their neighbors so that we can use the positive energy that comes with unity to work together and make needed change for our city. Too much of our political energy is spent on the issues that serve to divide us rather than unite us, the most prominent current example being Alabama’s HB56 immigration bill.
Birmingham can learn a lesson from the aftermath of the killer tornadoes that ripped through our state on April 27. As people always do in the wake of a tragedy, citizens of Birmingham came to the aid of their neighbors in Pratt City, Fairfield and Pleasant Grove without hesitation, with no regard for race or religion, those invisible fences that traditionally divide us. The tornadoes blew down these fences and we found that we all, regardless of our differences, make very good neighbors.
Read more Big Ideas to Make Birmingham Better here.