This week saw several more very public acts of antisemitism in our state. What was once a rare occurrence has become far too routine. In the last month, we have had at least one antisemitic incident reported each week. Enough is enough.
At the Alliance, we work to address the immediate impact of these hateful acts. This week, we were immediately in touch with local law enforcement in Warwick, with the Attorney General’s office, with state officials, and with others to ensure that Jewish communal institutions remain safe and that these acts would be investigated and ultimately prosecuted. We condemned these acts to local media and called on our elected leaders to condemn these acts of hate. And we pulled together leaders from our community to determine the best way to stamp out this hate in Rhode Island.
We know that you may be feeling anxious and worried. That you may be angry. Our community has resources available to help. If you need to speak with someone, our friends at Jewish Collaborative Services have counselors available who can help. You can contact them at (401) 331-1244.
We also are blessed to have partners with a wide range of resources for all ages in the Jewish community. For example, PJ Library has excellent resources for speaking to children about antisemitism.
Lastly, we encourage you to find places and communities where you can safely and proudly be Jewish: be that at our own Dwares JCC, a local synagogue, youth group, or simply a group of friends to enjoy Shabbat dinner with.
While we are always focused on the immediate aftermath of antisemitism, we also keep an eye toward the future. We are focused on how we end antisemitism and hate in Rhode Island. In the coming weeks, we’ll be meeting with elected leaders, business leaders, and community leaders to discuss how our entire Rhode Island community can support our Jewish community in this time of great concern. We continue to work with partners to address hate in all forms, and next spring will be hosting an anti-hate summit. We are building partnerships with local school districts to implement anti-hate curricula so we can stamp out hate before it begins. And this is just scratching the surface.
In moments like these, it is helpful to remember the long history of our people. While it can be easy to look at that history and find all of the examples of antisemitism, I’d encourage us to remember that we are a light unto the nations. To remember that Pirkei Avot teaches us not to turn away from community. And to remember that our community is strong and vibrant and will be long into the future.
President & CEO
Chair of the Board