March 2021: President’s Message

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As we heard last month from Jacqui Schulefand’s UConn Hillel students, there is an Elephant in the room that is demanding attention. We need to address this Elephant in the room. This Elephant has been around as long as the Jewish people, but it has gotten a lot meaner and obvious lately. The Elephant is anti-Jewish hatred. There is the familiar white supremacy movement that hates everyone who doesn’t look like them, the subtle I-don’t-really-mean-it-when-I-talk-badly-about-Jews kind and a relatively new and insidious form of hostility directed at Israel, which crosses the line to anti-Jewish hate many times.

Hate is hate. Jews, Christians, Muslims, Blacks and Asians – everyone is worse off for it and we need to end it. Accepting it or making excuses for it will only empower it. Instead, we must talk about it, write about it, learn about it and say something, if you see something. We can’t take anything for granted. True hate is never little, it is never unimportant and it should never be ignored.

Because of the realities noted above, we need to be prepared. All synagogues in the area are also preparing. The Federation just passed a motion to hire a Regional Security Liaison to assist us in choosing the right direction for equipment. Also, we are applying for state and federal grants to attempt to secure these large ticket items to secure our building. We will be asking for special glass on the windows, solid core doors, special computer-controlled electronic locks, cameras, etc. Karen Kaplan has graciously agreed to write these grants since she has had much experience in the past with grants. Morrow Long, our Security chair, is also writing a grant for security guards for every Shabbos. It will take several years to obtain all that is necessary. But I’m confident we will get there. In these changing times, we need to change also. Our goal is to make all members feel secure.

Some of this was seen in “Jewbelong.com”.   It seemed so appropriate, I paraphrased some of it.