You are receiving my Friday post a day early this week. The past few weeks have been trying for Israel and for Jews around the world and I hope that you saw our statement earlier this week. Barry Shrage, President of CJP, and I issued the following message today in support of this weekend’s solidarity Shabbat and I feel it is the message that I need to leave you with this week. May this truly be a Shabbat of Shalom for you, and for our brothers and sisters in Israel and around the world.
The past few days and months have been particularly trying on the Jewish people and on our brothers and sisters in Israel.
We have had disagreements, all b’shem shamayim, motivated by our love for Israel and concern for our people. But now, as is too often the case, we are again united in response to vicious attacks on our people and are called upon to stand united with the people of Israel in the fight against terror.
As always, when tragedy strikes we mourn with Israelis as they have buried parents, children and grandmothers after hideous terrorist attacks. We have been shocked by acts of random violence against Israelis and against the possibility of peace. We are outraged at biased press reports that range from distortions to outright lies. We abhor violence against all people and we demand an end to incitement that is providing fuel for terror.
It is now time to demonstrate our unity.
Tomorrow, we and our fellow Jews around the world will celebrate Shabbat. This Shabbat, Jewish organizations and movements across the United States will commemorate a “Special Sabbath of Solidarity” with Israel.
The Sabbath of Solidarity stems from an idea among rabbis and leaders in all of the major Jewish movements along with the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations. They are asking that all of us add special prayers for the State of Israel and that rabbis use their sermons to discuss ongoing violence in Israel and to urge their congregants to encourage public support for Israel in the media and to elected officials. We believe that many of our friends in Congress will want to join Rep. Joe Kennedy III in supporting Israel.
In the coming days, if the violence continues, we will be organizing a Boston unity mission that will depart for Israel to show our solidarity and love for the Israeli people at this time of great turmoil and pain. While we are there, we will carry your message of support and will tell them about this nationwide effort to show we stand with them as they confront not only vicious terror, but a world that seems at best indifferent and at worst, ready to blame, equivocate or otherwise belittle the suffering of Jewish victims.
We ask that you take a moment this Shabbat, whether in a synagogue or in your own home, to think of Jews in Israel and around the world.
Jeremy Burton Barry Shrage
Executive Director President
JCRC of Greater Boston Combined Jewish Philanthropies