Dear Temple B'nai Chaim Family,
Over the last few months, Jewish Communities Centers across the country have received bomb threats and, in recent weeks, Jewish cemeteries have been desecrated. Both of these types of aggression have caused fear and despair for the local and national Jewish communities.
In the wake of these events, I have been heartened to see how many have stood with the Jewish people in condemning these acts and to hear of the generosity of those who have given of their time and resources to help repair the damage that has been done. In towns and cities all over the United States, rabbinical colleagues have received everything from flowers with a note of friendship and support from their local Muslim student association to offers from interfaith clergy to stand at the door of the synagogue on Shabbat.
I am grateful for the close relationships that our community has with other local congregations. My interfaith colleagues have been vocal in their condemnation of these antisemitic acts. I am also grateful for our ongoing relationship with our local police department which has always been a source of support for our congregation.
I spent this past weekend in Washington DC with our Confirmation class, and, on Monday, our students met with the staff of each of our Congressional representatives to advocate for their chosen positions. Even as I am saddened and angered by this recent rise in antisemitism, I am also inspired by our young people's commitment to fighting for a better world. Listening to them speak about their deeply held belief that all people are equal and therefore deserve to be treated with respect and empathy filled me with a sense that while the struggle for a better, safer world is a difficult one, it is possible for us to make progress toward that goal.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe,
who has given us the opportunity to mend the world.
Rabbi Rachel Bearman