Let us begin this message by saying that we express our concerns pertaining to the problem of anti-Semitic attacks and extremism that have recently occurred here in the Pioneer Valley. We have also heard from community members expressing their own concerns about this, and we thank them for contacting us.
In response to a MassLive news report on January 7th about the problem of anti-Semitism in Northampton, we reached out to the Mayor of Northampton to emphasize that we are concerned and about this and that we would like to be supportive of her work to prevent anti-Semitism from having any form of presence in the City of Northampton.
We also remind you that Federation’s mission includes protecting the safety and security of our Jewish community as a whole, and we do this systematically. One of our national partners is the Secure Community Network (SCN), which is very involved with our umbrella organization, The Jewish Federations of North America. Moreover, incidents and concerns in our local community can be reported directly to our Federation, and also to SCN at DutyDesk@securecommunitynetwork.org (844.SCN.DESK). You might also sign up for daily updates from the Secure Community Network by clicking here.
Our Federation also has a Community Relations Committee (CRC), and one of its goals is to work on ways in which the Federation community can work together on addressing anti-Semitism. Please contact CRC Chair Joshua Vogel if you would like to be involved with the CRC.
Because of the recent complaints regarding antisemitism in our region, we also contacted the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for input on how best to work together as a community on issues related to current forms of antisemitism and also contentious discourse. The ADL shared with us the following two important resources for all of us to consider, especially with regard to technology and and meetings among community members:
Click here to view a guide for public meetings
Click here for tips on preventing Zoom meeting disruptions.
Even as we go through difficult times, we must remain strong and unified as a community. Hence, it also timely that our Annual Meeting is scheduled for this Tuesday, Jan. 18, from 7-8:15pm, during which time the keynote speaker Professor Erica Brown will discuss Jewish leadership during difficult times in conjunction with resilience. Please register for this program here if you have not already done so, by clicking here.
Shabbat shalom and stay well,
Lara R. Curtis President
Nora Gorenstein, Interim Executive Director
Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts