Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
So here we are in April. The smell of gefilte fish and Manischewitz is in the air! During this festive and beautiful time of year, it was disturbing to learn of the vandalizing of the Molly Blank Jewish Community Center under construction in Flagstaff. In addition to anti-Semitic graffiti, several cans of paint were dumped on the floor.
I find it particularly deflating as we just completed a number of Violins of Hope programs in Flagstaff. Watching the students, mostly non-Jewish, so engaged with the instruments and so touched by the stories of those that had perished during the Holocaust, was so uplifting. How sad to have to return to the reality of intolerance and hate that has once again reared its ugly head.
It is disgraceful displays of behavior such as these that make the Federation proud to be a partner with Combat Anti-Semitism, a non-partisan, international grassroots movement of individuals and organizations, across all religions and faiths united around the goal of ending anti-Semitism. I urge you to join us, and thousands of others around the world, in signing the pledge against anti-Semitism at combatantisemitism.org.
This week’s Torah portion is Tazria (Conceived Seed) in Leviticus. It continues the discussion of the laws of impurity and purity. What could be more impure than the evil of intolerance, prejudice, xenophobia and vandalism? What could be more pure than putting our love and energy into building strong, loving and vibrant communities for Jews and all people? How blessed are we to have the opportunities every day to be “upstanders” instead of bystanders.
I wish you all Shabbat Shalom.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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