The events which took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, clearly reinforce The Jewish Federation’s position that hate should have no home in our community. Sadly, there are too many occasions these days to call out hate, anti-Semitism and bigotry – and too many incidents like what took place Aug. 17 in Barcelona.
Actions speak louder than words, which is why this Federation had already planned – long before the events in Charlottesville – two special opportunities to support, educate and empower local law enforcement, public safety and faith leaders in dealing with bias crimes.
One includes law enforcement officers interacting with Holocaust survivors and a trip to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Thirty local officers returned from this trip earlier this week – a program made possible through your support of the Jewish Federation, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and our partners at Chhange (the Center for Holocaust, Human Rights and Genocide Education).
The other includes a custom security training program for Jewish community partners, followed by a special interfaith gathering from various churches, mosques and other faith-based organizations focused on bias incidents – to be led by the N.J. Attorney General and N.J. Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.
There is more in the works, including expanded efforts to counter hate in schools and encourage more community leaders, students and adults both, to understand our community’s experience with hate through local programs and visits to Chhange and the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.
I want to assure you that the Jewish Federation is concerned with the well-being of our community and we are playing a key leadership role in this area – in addition to the vitally important work we do helping members of our own community in need. Your support helps make these activities possible.