We are deeply troubled and saddened by the racist and hateful events our nation and city have experienced this week. We grieve for the senseless death of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, VA, and mourn the loss of human decency that was shattered with the desecration (for the second time) of our New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston last night. We join other community partners, organizations and leaders of moral standing as we condemn all acts of racism, anti-semitism, and xenophobia. We ask President Trump to directly condemn these acts, as well.
Each Shabbat following Tisha B’av (which occurred on August 1st) until Rosh Hashanah we read a Haftarah selection from the Prophet Isaiah. These haftarot of consolation comfort the People of Israel following the destruction of Jerusalem. Each portion renews our hope in a time when harmony will be restored. This week we read Isaiah, chapter 54: “O poor one who is not consoled, [God] will lay your foundation with precious stones...your children’s peace shall increase.”
Our Jewish tradition teaches us that God alone cannot lay the foundation of unity and love in our world. We, too, must act, speak out, and organize our resources to build a world of love.
We hope you will join us as we continue to stand for our values and pave our way with stones of peace. During this time of uncertainty and turmoil, may the words of the prophet inspire us to action.
- Contact Sandy Aronson, TBE’s Social Justice Community Organizer, to work with other TBE lay leaders in partnership with Facing History and Ourselves. This new initiative is forming to respond to acts of hatred and antisemitism that we experience in our time.
- Donate to TBE’s Tikkun Olam Fund to further our social justice work in the community.
- Connect with Congregation Beth Israel in Charlottesville, VA.
- Educate your children.
- Take action with our community partners: Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) and Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), and the Religious Action Center (RAC).
With prayers for shalom,
Rabbis Joel Sisenwine, Rachel Saphire, and Philip Sherman and Cantors Jodi Sufrin and Shanna Zell