Monday, November 5, 2018

Post Pittsburgh

It has been a very difficult week since the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. In the Burlington area, we have been very fortunate that all of our synagogues held memorial services and this past Tuesday the Jewish and non-Jewish communities came together at Contois Auditorium in an interfaith showing of solidarity. And this past Sabbath, our synagogue participated in #ShowUpForShabbat, where we welcomed many Jews and non-Jewish folks who wanted to stand with us in solidarity.

At school our teachers and Rabbi Edleson very sensitively handled the situation, talking to our students and getting their feedback on their perception of the situation and on anti-Semitism, something we had hoped would be eradicated in our lifetime, but unfortunately is growing.

I sent out many resources on how to talk to your children following tragedies, but sometimes words aren't enough. We need to emphasize that all of us will do everything we can to keep them safe, but that everything in life has risks. It is our job, not just as Jews but as human beings, to make this world a better place. As Jews, however, we are commanded in Pirkei Avot, the Ethics of our Fathers, “You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it (2:21).”

It's important for our children to know that our community is strong and we have many wonderful neighbors who stand with us against hate of any kind.

I am enclosing links to articles about talking to your children and one for Stars of Hope, a project on creating something meaningful following a tragedy:

Don’t Avoid Talking To Your Kids About The Pittsburgh Shooting by Sivan Zakai for The Forward

Talking to Children About Tragedies & Other News Events 

4 Steps for Talking to Kids About the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting from Kveller

Stars of Hope 

Together we are stronger!

Wishing for a world of peace,
Morah Judy

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