This past weekend marked the one-year anniversary of protesters descending on Charlottesville, Virginia. While I’m keenly aware that hate exists, I cannot recall an instance in my lifetime when it so blatantly took to the streets of America. Images of crowds carrying torches, wearing swastikas, and brandishing semi-automatic rifles while chanting slogans like “Jews will not replace us!” will be forever burned into my mind.
Sunday’s anniversary march in Washington, DC, thankfully, did not live up to its hype as counter-protesters outnumbered those in attendance. And just two weekends ago in Providence, a group called “Resist Marxism” planned a similar rally at the State House. This rally, too, was cut short as those in opposition made their collective voices heard.
Having just returned from a mission to Budapest and Berlin, the idea of hate and anti-Semitism has been at the front of my mind. Many of our conversations in those cities focused on rising anti-Semitism in Europe and the steps Jews and other groups are taking to combat it. While in Berlin, we had the opportunity to participate in a Kippah walk, demonstrating the pride we have in our Jewish heritage. I’m thankful that those types of solidarity marches are not necessary here in Rhode Island or in the United States, but our community must remain vigilant.
Friends, I encourage all of us to stand up for what is right, just, and moral. Darkness and hate live on, but may our collective light continue to outshine it.
Wishing you a peaceful Shabbat.
Adam Greenman, President & CEO