Community. Resilience. Strength. That is who we are at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, and it was abundantly clear on Sunday, January 5th when we marched as a community along with the greater New York Jewish community. The “No Hate. No Fear.” solidarity march was organized by the UJA-Federation of New York in light of recent horrifying attacks on Jewish people across the New York Metropolitan Area.
Jews and non-Jews alike marched and rallied from Foley Square in Lower Manhattan, across the Brooklyn Bridge, to Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn. It was not just Hassidim from Jersey City or Monsey who were the direct victims of the most recent attacks, but around 25,000 people decided to show their solidarity, no matter if they are Jewish or not. Once they reached Cadman Plaza, the crowd had the privilege to hear from activists and musicians, like famous singer Matisyahu, on what standing up to anti-Semitism and baseless hatred should look like in our society today.
Among the activists that stood up in Cadman Plaza Park was Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the URJ (Union for Reform Judaism). Right before he led the crowd in reciting verses from Psalm 130, he said, “The Psalms we are about to recite have sustained our people in times of danger. We proudly and publicly offer these psalms now. We will not cower in fear or allow our Judaism to be defensive or meek.” Psalm 130 talks about raising our eyes up to the mountains and seeing the world as it is meant to be, as a world that God wants us to create; a world where people respect and love each other. At Rodeph Sholom, we were so proud to stand up and march with everybody, Jews and non-Jews alike, that was there for justice in our greater Jewish community. We are confident that our community showing our Jewish pride and love for one another is key in helping stop anti-Semitism in our country. Our resilience shines when we take immediate action to tragic events as one community. We are fortunate to be a part of an extremely strong network, allowing us to band together and fight against hatred pointed toward our global community.
If you attended the “No Hate. No Fear.” solidarity march as part of the CRS delegation we’d love to hear from you! Please send your photos and a few words about your experience to firstname.lastname@example.org.