A Diversity Message from Neil Meltzer, President and CEO, and Dr. Sybil Pentsil, Chief Diversity Officer - September 2023

September 1, 2023 in Blog Posts

Our J.E.D.I. office is dedicated to ensuring that all team members feel a sense of belonging and appreciation for the many unique cultures, communities, and backgrounds represented by our team members and patients. Below, learn about some of this year’s September observances and how you can help make a difference here at LifeBridge Health.

Observed by Shia Muslims, Arba’een takes place September 5–6 and includes the world’s largest annual pilgrimage. Arba’een translates to fortieth, reflecting the traditional forty days of mourning after the death of a loved one in Islam. The holiday commemorates the martyrdom of Muhammad’s grandson, Al-Husayn ibn Ali, and each year, tens of millions of Muslims venture to the city of Karbala, Iraq in honor of Arba’een.

Krishna Janmashtami
Falling this year on September 6, Krishna Janmashtami is a festival of great significance for practitioners of Hinduism. This holiday celebrates the birth of Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Vishnu who is the Hindu deity of preservation.

Patriot Day
Patriot Day is observed to honor those who lost their lives in the tragic attacks that took place on September 11, 2001. On Patriot Day, American flags are flown at half-staff and a somber moment of silence is widely held at 8:46 am, the time when the first plane flew into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.

National Hispanic American Heritage Month
Observed from September 15 to October 15, National Hispanic American Heritage Month honors the cultural legacy of Americans with ancestral ties to Spain, Mexico, and the Caribbean as well as Central and South America. Recognizing people from a wide range of nations and their descendants, Hispanic American Heritage Month provides an opportunity to engage with and celebrate these rich histories and cultures.

Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur
This year, Rosh Hashana will be observed from sundown on September 15 to nightfall on September 17. Rosh Hashana is a celebration of the Jewish New Year and is focused on themes of personal atonement, reflecting on the past, and looking ahead to the future. Rosh Hashana customs include blowing the Shofar, a ram’s horn, and baking challah bread. Rosh Hashana also begins the ten days of atonement which lead to Yom Kippur, a day of fasting observed in the spirit of atonement for collective sin. This year, Yom Kippur takes place from sundown on September 24 until the evening of September 25.

Mabon is a celebration of the autumn equinox, when day and night are equal, observed by ancient Celts and still sacred to many practicing Wiccans and Neopagans today. This year, Mabon is celebrated on September 23. During this time, observers express gratitude for the harvest and reflect on the changing of the seasons.

Mawlid al-Nabi
Mawlid al-Nabi is an Islamic holiday honoring the birth of the prophet Mohammed who is regarded in Islam as the messenger of God. Many Muslims around the world will celebrate the holiday, which this year begins on the evening of September 26 and continues through September 27, with prayer services, Mosque gatherings, and festivals. While not all Muslims celebrate the holiday, given that it is not mandated in Islamic doctrine, it is nonetheless a national holiday in most of the world’s majority-Muslim nations and is approved by most denominations of Islam.


REFLECT: Take a moment on Monday, September 11 to honor those who lost their lives on this tragic day.

RECOGNIZE: Recognize contributions of Hispanic/Latino people in American society.

RESPOND: Take some time to learn more about all the religious holidays observed in September. 

J.E.D.I. Champion Nominations
The Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (J.E.D.I.) Champion award is given to individuals who embrace differences between team members, promote justice, equity, diversity and inclusion and go above and beyond to create a culture of belonging at LifeBridge Health. J.E.D.I. Champions are team members who:

• Participate in J.E.D.I. education.
• Develop/engage in opportunities for J.E.D.I. engagement across the institution.
• Promote a sense of belonging for all team members.
• Demonstrate commitment to SPIRIT values.
• Support institutional efforts to be just, equitable, diverse and inclusive.

To nominate a team member for the J.E.D.I. Champion Award please send an email to JEDI_Office@lifebridgehealth.org with the following information:

• Your name and email address
• Name, email address and title of the person you would like to nominate
• A short paragraph outlining how the nominee fits the criteria listed