This weekend (August 10-12, 2018) marks an unfortunate anniversary.
It has been one year since the violent Unite the Right rally took place in Charlottesville, Virginia. This upsetting rally, and the racist incidents that have occurred since, have highlighted that bigotry, racism, and anti-Semitism are still very much alive in our country today.
Like many of you, this realization shakes us to our very core.
On Saturday, August 12th, 2018, this same hateful group will be assembling here in DC. While many of us are filled with fear for what this group will bring to our hometown, we know that the loving individuals that make up our community will have the courage to remain strong and combat hate with unity and kindness.
The young adults of Jewish DC are filled with compassion for those of all races and hometowns. We are working to build a community that denounces hatred in all of its forms in hopes of creating a more just world. We are grateful for the many strong leaders of our community who are joining together to express these Jewish values we hold dear, and offer vital information in preparation for this insidious rally.
Here are a few important guidelines from our partners at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC):
– Safety is key. In light of the violence that arose from last year’s rally, we strongly recommend distancing yourself from Foggy Bottom to Lafayette Park this Saturday.
– Do not confront or engage with the protesters. This will only advance their media attention goals.
– Notify the police immediately if you feel or see someone being physically threatened.
– If you need support, reach out to a community member, or attend one of these unity-focused programs this weekend:
1. Friday, August 10th at 3pm: Teach-in On White Supremacy: A Regional Townhall with Representatives Eleanor Holmes Norton & Jaime Raskin at Washington Hebrew Congregation 2. Friday, August 10th at 6pm: Shabbat Service: A Shabbat of Peace at Washington Hebrew Congregation concluding with a special candlelight vigil honoring the lives lost one year ago in Charlottesville 3. Friday, August 10th at 6:30pm: Return Again to Shabbat Service at Adas Israel Congregation.
Click here to see JUFJ’s comprehensive list of unity events, and keep checking back as there will be more events organized later this week.
No matter where you are this weekend, we encourage you to offer acts and prayers of love and healing into our fractured world. Let us create a sense of solidarity across Jewish DC against hatred and toward love, against violence and towards peace, and a shared commitment to do acts of loving kindness for our neighbors, friends, families and those in most need.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at email@example.com or Rabbi Aaron Potek at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Wishing everyone a Shabbat of peace,
Rachel Gildiner Executive Director, GatherDC
In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again. – Anne Frank