CEO Message 8/9/2019

From the desk of Stewart Bromberg

Dear Friends,

Las Vegas, Orlando, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Sutherland Springs, Stoneman Douglas, San Bernardino, Fort Hood, Binghamton, Aurora, Pittsburg, Geneva County, Thousand Oaks, Santa Fe, Virginia Beach, Washington Navy Yard… and this list and the grave impact does not end there. 

We now observe, in shock, the tragedies of El Paso and Dayton. 

We offer our thoughts and prayers to victims and their families, but thoughts and prayers alone are not enough. We cannot bring back those lost lives and heal all of the injuries of the bodies and minds of the innocent victims. As a community, as a state, as a nation, we should not accept impotent gestures in the face of a problem that demands mighty action. 

The political inertia preventing real gun reform is unacceptable. Historically, almost all safety reform comes in the wake of tragedy. State and national fire codes, occupational safety standards, and all applicable and impactful laws and regulations were borne from tragedies we wanted to ensure would never be repeated. And now we are living the same horror over and over; each tragedy compounded by a failure to act. We have the ability and the opportunity to make a difference!

These latest massacres remind us that our outrage isn’t enough; that our efforts thus far are not enough. The price of our perpetual failure is counted in human lives, and suffering, and families destroyed.

Gun violence is a Jewish issue. The intertwined threat of rising white nationalism is a Jewish issue. We must redouble our efforts to overcome this madness.

At the Federation, we are working to do what we can to keep our community safe. We’ve instituted a hate crimes task force to defuse the root causes of violence before they explode. We’ve funded and continue to fund security initiatives to fortify our facilities and protect our people. We’re working with local law enforcement to ensure communication and cooperation, to prepare for and prevent tragedy. We are working with the school system to enact an educational program. We are reaching out to the districts to develop strong age appropriate programs to build on our strengths, encourage tolerance for our differences, and respect for each other. We will not stand still.

And we are calling on you.

We are asking you to take on the responsibility of Tikkun Olam, of repairing the world, which surely is broken. Call your representatives. Support the candidates and organizations who offer serious solutions. Take out your checkbook. Go to a rally. Make your voice heard. Hold your government to account. Let this be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Let there not be a next time.

Let us all work for peace and understanding in our community and throughout the world.

Shabbat shalom,

Stew Bromberg, CEO
Ronda Parish, President and Board Chair