I remember walking with my father to his synagogue in East Baltimore on Shabbat. The neighborhood was a tough one. There weren't very many individuals with yarmulkes, and I would feel a bit uncomfortable. But my father kept telling me not to be self-conscious. He radiated self-confidence and friendliness.

People of all races would ask him for his blessings and prayers. His good nature enabled him to view everyone as a friend -- and people reciprocated.