In Charlottesville they marched with torches and chanted “Jews will not replace us.” In Boston they again vandalized the Holocaust Memorial. And here in Rhode Island, while incidents have been far more covert, they do occur more than we would like to admit.
These recent events have been challenging for me to process as an organizational leader. I have my personal views and always have, but this is the first time I have needed to process something this horrific from an organizational perspective.
This is not a Jewish problem. Or a Black problem. Or a Muslim problem. Or an LGBTQ problem.This is a problem facing all of America. These may not be the feelings of the majority, but the evil that once lurked mostly in the shadows has been thrust into the national spotlight.
So, what do we do now?
We stand together, once again.
We learn and encourage others to do the same.
We lead by example.
As we prepare to honor local Holocaust survivors on Monday, August 28, at the Rhode Island Holocaust Memorial–with the addition of survivor names permanently etched in stone–I echo Boston Mayor Marty Walsh when speaking about the “free speech” rally scheduled for tomorrow: “… [We] reject your message. We reject racism. We reject white supremacy. We reject anti-Semitism.”
And to that I add: We embrace and uphold the Jewish traditions of righteousness and justice. Because that is what our values illustrate.
Wishing you a peaceful Shabbat.
President & CEO