I want to wish the Jewish community of the Bronx, New York City, New York State and across the world a happy Rosh Hashanah and a wonderful beginning to the new year.
Part of my job entails bridging communities so that we may learn from one another despite what seem like various differences. Throughout my career, first in the New York State Assembly and now as Bronx borough president, I have been committed to bringing the Jewish community and the Latino community closer together both at home and abroad.
At one point, more Jews lived in the Bronx than in Israel, and our Jewish community remains vibrant and strong. Across the entire city, Jews and Latinos are already working hand in hand on the issues that unite us, be they economic development, housing, education or many others.
The Jewish and Latino communities have a lot more in common than one would think. While I was in Israel, I was communicating with people in Spanish. What other Latinos need to understand is that we have this strong connection with the people of Israel, with the Jewish community.
In fact, in Israel there are schools named after all the Latin American countries that voted at the U.N. for the state of Israel. In addition, Israel is working with many Latin American countries on improving water conditions and vegetation issues that they face.
As borough president, I want to remind my friends in both communities that the doors at Borough Hall are always open to you. I will continue to work to join the Latino and Jewish communities in new bonds of strength, and I will help create new friendships during difficult times.
And, once again, I wish my Jewish friends all over the world a happy Rosh Hashanah and a sweet beginning to their new year.
Ruben Diaz Jr. is the Bronx borough president.