“I am scared because no one is talking about it,” a friend of mine shared recently. She was expressing concern about the increased number of bomb threats that recently targeted JCCs around the country. At the Jewish Federation, our national office and affiliate organizations have advised to stay on high alert and review our safety precautions and emergency response procedures.
For many of us, it feels like every time we plug into our media we see coverage of an attack, renewed violence, or an affront on human rights. Part of me wonders whether this is because we live in an age of the 24-hour news cycle, or whether we really are witnessing a world that is growing increasingly ridden with strife and conflict.
Our Jewish Federation leadership locally and nationally has been grappling with what we can do to address these challenges in our community. And, what we can do to address the sense of helplessness that accompanies tasks that feel so much larger than ourselves. When things feel completely out of our control, what is our role and where do we invest our energy and resources?
In speaking with my friend, she highlighted that a lot could be gained from directing one’s energy into doing good in our communities. Take the time to write letters to your congress people, volunteer with local issues, and take the time to unplug from the media. Get outside and make space for gratitude and appreciation of the people that matter in our lives.
On a communal level, our Jewish Federation staff and leadership is busy working proactively with our community partners and the local interfaith community to take a united stance against injustice. Together we stand, in favor of a safe, inclusive, and secure San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys for the Jewish community and all of our neighbors. We are keeping our eyes and ears open, working with national organizations to ensure we have access to resources, and meeting with local elected officials to advocate both for our own needs and the needs of our neighbors.
We recommend that together we meet our sense of helplessness with action. Write letters to local leadership and representatives voicing your priorities and concern. Volunteer to impact local issues that are of importance to you. And, consider joining a core group of volunteers at the Jewish Federation on February 12 for our annual Super Sunday to re-energize your commitment to the Jewish community this year.
On Sunday, March 5, the Jewish Federation will offer a workshop entitled How Global Events Impact Our Lives: Tools for Coping, where we will address the real-life application of how we can deal with what we are seeing and feeling. We hope to see you there.
If there are local, national, and/or global issues affecting the Jewish community that are on your mind, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Moss is the Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys. He can be reached at email@example.com.