Dear Temple B'nai Chaim Family,

Unfortunately, I am writing to tell you that last week another swastika was found in Ridgefield High School.

I know that many of us are feeling frustration, disbelief, and grave concern.  This latest incident is both unacceptable and all too common.  In the past year alone, we have seen far too many examples of hateful words, symbols, and actions in our towns, in the nation, and in the world at large.

As you know, many of us have been working diligently to combat hate in our local communities.  

In Wilton, I am honored to belong to and work with a group of leaders from the town and the larger area who are all dedicated to this important goal.  

In Ridgefield, I have been working for months with First Selectman Rudy Marconi and Rabbi David Reiner of Congregation Shir Shalom- a collaboration which has led to a partnership between the town and the Anti-Defamation League.  In fact, we are bringing the ADL to Ridgefield next week for a program where leaders from many departments of town life will work together to strengthen the community's ability to prevent and respond to incidents like last week's.

Yesterday, First Selectman Marconi, Rabbi Reiner, and I met with the ADL to plan this upcoming program.  This event is the first of multiple steps that the town has committed to taking in order to combat hate in our area.  I will write to you next week to share what happens at this gathering.

Parents- I encourage you to have honest and age-appropriate conversations with your children about the importance and power of the words that we use.  Please remind your children that they can and should tell you if anyone in their lives is using words that make them feel uncomfortable, small, or afraid.  If I can support you and/or your children in any way, please be in touch with me.  

Everyone in our community- especially our children- should understand that they will never have to stand alone against hateful behavior.  

We will continue to stand strong and stand together.

Chazak.  Chazak.  V'nitchazek.
Be strong.  Be strong.  Let us strengthen one another.

Rabbi Rachel Bearman