Dear Temple B'nai Chaim Family,

I am writing to share with you that, earlier this week, a swastika was found etched in a desk in Ridgefield High School.  Dr. Gross, the principal of RHS, sent an email yesterday to the school community explaining what had happened and denouncing this type of behavior.  Dr. Gross wrote that RHS will continue to partner with the Anti-Defamation League and will also continue to work closely with leaders within and outside of the school to, "...explore ways to address and prevent these types of behavior."

In the hours since Dr. Gross sent her email, I have heard from many of you.  I share your concerns about the relative frequency of incidents like this week's.  

This morning I reached out to Dr. Gross and Dr. Baldwin, Superintendent of Ridgefield Schools, to ask for more information about the school's plans moving forward and to offer my support and assistance in making those plans reality.

I also want to share with you that, over the past several months, I have been meeting with Rabbi David Reiner, of Congregation Shir Shalom, and Ridgefield's First Selectman Rudy Marconi to discuss how the community can address this type of incident.  We have another meeting scheduled for next week, and I am sure that this most recent incident will be discussed then if not before.  

In a few hours, the sun will set and Shabbat will begin.  Whether or not you'll be joining us at TBC tonight (7:30pm), I hope that you will pause as the sun fades away and spend just a moment thinking of and praying for those who are in need of strength.  

There is so much going on in our world, and there are so many who may find themselves in need of healing- healing of body, mind, or spirit.  Our prayers can only help.  

If you feel moved to do so, you could even use these words in your prayer:

Peace comes with the sunset 
Cool breezes ease the heat of day 
All things settle into stillness 
Gentle song of crickets 
Moonrise and the silence of night... 
Give us shelter in Your presence 
Bring peace to those who yearn for peace 
Enfold us in Your quiet 
Let our fears find rest in You.

-Mishkan HaLev: Prayers for S'lichot and the Month of Elul

I hope that this Shabbat brings everyone in our TBC family and all people in this world a sense of peace and wholeness.

Shabbat Shalom,  
Rabbi Rachel Bearman