Poking Holes in the Darkness

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This has been among the darkest weeks we’ve endured as a community. The Jewish community of Pittsburgh buried 11 loved ones, murdered in the worst anti-Semitic attack in American history. We are all reeling.

With the unleashing of this violent hatred on our community came reverberations of too many moments throughout our history when we’ve been targeted; when we’ve had to withstand the onslaught on our own, isolated and marginalized. But on Shabbat, just moments after we all learned of the massacre in the Tree of Life Synagogues, messages of consolation, of solidarity, and of support came pouring out from elected officials and interfaith leadership with whom we at JCRC have nurtured and cultivated relationships over the years. We knew we were not alone.

In the last week, I’ve been thanked by many of you who attended the vigil we planned within 24 hours of the news. You’ve told me that the moving display of support from so many allies was a powerful reassurance that we are part of a collective, one that understands and shares our grief in this moment and that will be with us for the long haul.

I’ve been asked over and over; how did you manage to turn out that impressive array of dignitaries so quickly? The reality is that, although the vigil may have taken place within hours, there was nothing quick or simple about our work that day. Because our allies were already with us. Through our painstaking work day in and day out, we have built deep, enduring relationships with friends and partners in public life — elected officials, clergy, and civic leaders. We have rolled up our sleeves to tackle the thorniest challenges facing Greater Boston together; we’ve developed the trust to engage in difficult conversations and to leverage our collective power to achieve goals more ambitious than any of us could ever accomplish on our own. And we’ve stood together in times of need, forming an immediate circle of love and support for those in pain. On a weekend when an unthinkable act of terror hit the heart of our community, we knew who would be with us — the partners we’ve come to rely on through the years.

The urgent work of community relations has never been more essential; building bonds so deep and trusting, that the support you need in your darkest moment is there without your ever having to ask; uniting us at a time of rancor and division, and celebrating all that binds us together.

Join our efforts. Invest in building and deepening the relationships we need now more than ever.

With deep appreciation,

Jeremy Burton
Executive Director