This was the year when fear had a face,
And its own sound, an ugly drumbeat.
It flowed right through the presidential race,
Relegating all else to the back seat.
Fear of the other, fear of the unknown,
Seeped straight into the public square.
Fear of terror, foreign and homegrown,
Left a stench of hate in the air.
But through the year, from beginning to end
In Israel, the U.S. and elsewhere
Were those who sought not to scare, but to mend,
Bringing hope to a time of despair.
Who would have thought that a socialist Jew
Would draw such excitable throngs?
Bernie Sanders proved what was old could be new
As he campaigned to right all those wrongs.
As some threatened to close America’s door
There were Jews who said: Open it wide!
They welcomed the needy, the sick and the poor
Fighting a faith ban with integrity and pride.
Fifty years after a landmark accord
Improved ties between Catholic and Jew
Pope Francis showed all why he’s adored.
Some wondered: Can he be our Pope, too?
Hurrah for the women in Israel and here
Who stood against religious repression.
Clergy and whistleblowers, straight and queer
They honored Judaism’s highest expression.
There were also Jews too many to name
Who countered fear by just doing their work.
They served and taught, without pretense or shame,
Fulfilling duties that others might shirk.
When fear stalked the streets of Jerusalem,
And college campuses grew contentious,
Jews worked with others not to succumb
Striving hard for interfaith consensus.
As always, the year brought too many deaths
Of people who truly do inspire.
Theo Bikel, Dolph Schayes took their last breaths.
The Sassoon family lost to a fire.
On behalf of Kurt, Larry, Anya, Dan,
Dave, John, Nathan, Josh, Naomi, Elaine,
Adam, Sigal, Ezra, Britta, Maia, Anne,
Liza, Sarah, JJ, Lior, Teri, Thea and Jane
We thank all who read, advertise and donate,
Your support keeps us strong and alive.
Let us push away fear and instead celebrate
The lasting contributions of two-oh-one-five!