Solidarity with the Asian American Community

Posted by RabbiCohen on Mar. 19, 2021  /   0

Dear Friends,

This morning, my neighborhood listserv was distressing.   One Asian American neighbor, a woman, wrote that, on her afternoon walk, a young man hollered slurs at her and made obscene hand gestures in her direction, circling back several times on his bicycle to repeat his attack.   Another Asian American neighbor inquired where she could purchase pepper spray for her elderly parents to have for protection. 

The horrific attacks in Georgia this week sadly fit into a national upsurge in anti-Asian hate. We can not just ignore it and hope it away.  Many national Jewish organizations, including the ADL, have issued statements in support of the Asian American community this week.  And, coalitions for advocacy have been formed and strengthened.   National organizational support is great, but much of the important work needs to be done on the community level, between neighbor and neighbor.  It is time to stand together in awareness, support and advocacy. 

For the Asian American members of Beth Chai, please know that our community stands with you and in support, ready to offer a listening ear, collaborative support and community activism.  Prejudice and aggression toward part of our community is prejudice and aggression towards our whole community. 

This difficult week, our hearts go out to the victims’ families in Georgia.  And, I am reminded of words of Rev. Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Debbie Cohen

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