“I OFTEN Wonder if people that lived during the events that I once studied in history class were aware of the historical significance of what was transpiring. Or were they too focused on getting through it to realize what was actually transpiring? I raise this question, because I wonder if we are in one of those moments right now.
These last four months, we have witnessed protests, executive orders, and an attack on the media. We have seen a rise in hate crimes targeting a wide array of people, including an unprecedented increase of anti-Semitism. Our Jewish Community Centers have been threatened with bombs and Jewish cemeteries have been desecrated. The persistence of these threats is unnerving and frightening.
Between January 1 and March 7, 2017 there were 130 bomb threats at over 100 Jewish institutions in 36 states.
Terrorism comes in many forms and, whether they are being perpetrated by one person or by a group of people, these latest incidents are a systematic attack to invoke terror and fear in our communities.
As our community faces this new context, we are taking into consideration our community’s safety and the safety of our children. Jewish organizations across the country have always had security plans and procedures and the Jewish leaders at each of these organizations are working to ensure that they are being reviewed, updated, and discussed.
As a Jewish community, we are working with each other to ensure that we have access to resources that we need, and we are reaching out to a breadth of local partners to ensure that members of all faiths and backgrounds in our Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys feel secure. In alignment with our central Jewish teaching to, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” the Jewish Federation’s leadership is determined to face the imposing threat of divisiveness by embracing one another and standing up against hate, bigotry, and violence at every turn.
Jason Moss is the Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.