06 December 2016
A message from Steven A. Rakitt and Robert Zahler
It has been a month since Election Day. While we recognize that intense discussions are part of our country’s democratic process, we remain deeply concerned about continued — and even increasing — rhetoric espousing hate and bigotry from a variety of sources against many communities. In just the first ten days following the election, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there were 867 reports of hateful harassment and intimidation across the nation. Our own community has seen a disturbing increase in acts of anti-Semitism.
As Jews, we have a responsibility to speak out against all hatred, not only because the security of our own community is intertwined with that of other minority communities, but because our moral values, as Jews and as Americans, demand it. We stand with all who are being targeted by those who seek to demonize, intimidate and divide.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington serves a large and diverse community. We maintain a non-partisan stance in order to advance a wide range of issues, from human services to the strength and well-being of our own Jewish community, to issues affecting the security of Israel and Jews worldwide.
As we prepare to welcome the New Year, we are hopeful because there is important work to be done, lives to be bettered and repair of the world to achieve. The most vulnerable among us — senior citizens, persons with disabilities, at-risk children and youth, immigrants and refugees — are counting on Federation and our community to remain the beacon of light, and of hope, that we have always been.
We look forward to a future marked not by hate and fear, but by innovation, growth and inclusion. We hope you will join with us in the coming year to live our Jewish values, stand up to that which is hateful and focus on the meaningful — and holy — work of caring for those in our community who need us most.
From all of us at The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, we wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy New Year.