From the President – August 1, 2019

Thoughts and prayers don’t work. Yes, this has something to do with the shooting last weekend in Gilroy. But did you know:

We are witnessing what seems to be a collapse of the social order. Young men (they are almost always young men) who feel slighted or threatened by society for whatever reason decide to take out their rage on strangers. Sometimes random, sometimes targeted.

What can we do? We are working on improving the security infrastructure at TBH, but we have to balance that against our desire to be an open, welcoming community. Political activism is definitely a strategy, but most of the elected officials in our area are supportive of common sense gun regulation (which is not, I repeat NOT confiscation).

What we can do is to push back on any speech or action that dehumanizes ANYONE. If someone makes even a casual remark that stereotypes or puts down some group – speak up. Calmly and respectfully if you can.

When we work to feed students and their families over their Christmas vacation, we build community. When we make that effort with Jewish, Christian, Sikh, Muslim and non-sectarians, we build an even stronger community.

If you are passionate about any social injustice, bring it up. You may find others to work with right here at Beth Hillel – and you will build community.

Violence and hatred come from isolation. Peace comes from community.

—Neil Zarchin