With a heavy heart – and an angry one – I’m writing about an anti-Semitic crime here in Highland Park. On Monday night, the second night of Hanukkah, a swastika was painted on someone’s home and their car windshield was smashed. One of the things I love most about our neighborhood is that it’s small enough that we really feel like a community. The HPCC is committed to making our neighborhood welcoming to all. We hope that everyone will join us in this mission. Please speak out against acts of hate and words of intolerance. But also, let’s go one step further and commit to living with our neighbors in peace. Period. It doesn’t matter which faith people believe in (or if they don’t subscribe to one), the color of their skin, their sexual preference, their gender identification, their age, their abilitities, their political affiliation, or their ethnicity. It doesn’t matter if we think they’re cranky, loud, or don’t keep up their yard. We are all neighbors: working, caring for family, and struggling to pay bills, and keep healthy, and not lose our minds in this crazy world. We are all coping, whether it’s with stress, loss, anxiety, depression, loneliness or fear. We are all just trying to get by. Together, we can make a difference, starting by being neighborly. In this season of holidays – Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa – we want you all to know peace and joy, safety and comfort, in your homes, our community, and in this great, wide world.