Today is August 20, 2019 -
“Kol Yisrael arevim zeh bazeh–all of Israel is responsible for each other.” I was privileged this past November to hear Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, use this line from the Talmud while commenting on the misconception that all Jews must like one another. He said, “We don’t need to like each other, but we are commanded to care for one another.”
This week, our national office, The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), sent a letter of condolence and solidarity to leaders of the Jewish community of Denmark. In the letter, our leaders wrote, “Any attack on Jews, anywhere in the world, affects each and every one of us. And when innocent people are targeted, the pain is felt by us all.” I was so moved by this outreach, which is so in-line with our Talmudic teaching, and I am very proud that we are one of the 152 federations across North America represented by JFNA.
Below is the letter that I received on Tuesday from JFNA. Please click through to read the full text of our communal letter of condolence, as well as JFNA’s press release.
This weekend, we awoke to more horrific news from Europe. Fatal attacks in Denmark and desecration of hundreds of Jewish graves in France are evidence of the rising violent attacks against Jews worldwide.
Paul Goldenberg, director of the Secure Community Network, is on his way to Europe to work with Jewish community leaders in Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands to address security concerns.
On Sunday, JFNA released a press statement condemning the attack and sent a letter of condolence and solidarity to the Danish Jewish leadership. They responded immediately, thanking us for our strong support.
Three weeks ago, we hosted a teleconference with Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Ira Forman, who spoke about the U.S. government’s efforts to address anti-Semitism in Europe.
We will continue to keep you updated on the situation.
Chair, Board of Trustees