Sister's Reactions to Charlottesville

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Now that a few days have passed and the edge has worn off of the shock, the women of Sisterhood have begun to react to the Charlottesville tragedy in some constructive ways. People I've talked with have expressed sadness and fear, but also courage and resolution. There is a sense of optimism - that this isn't 1932. That, this time, we know who and what we're facing, and we don't stand alone against it.

Our Sisterhood, through its affiliation with Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ), has made a donation to the local Reform Congregation in Charlottesville (which, coincidentally, is also named Beth Israel), to help them with their security needs and social justice efforts. You can read about it, and other positive actions the WRJ is taking in response to this tragedy, in this Advocacy Update from WRJ

Carol Calvery expressed her feelings in writing and asked me to share them with you here:

I remember hearing the stories from the Jewish residents at the nursing home where I worked
And I remember seeing the faint numbers tattooed on their arms
declaring them as Jews

I remember reading Anne Frank’s Diary in school and crying, wondering how it was possible and what we, as religious people who looked to God, did to deserve this hate and why God allowed it

I grew up hearing derogatory comments and names and learned to ignore them
And for awhile turned away from my faith

But then the time came and it pulled me back and I could hear my grandmother’s voice asking me to return

So I found a synagogue that spoke to me and I was embraced by the love and care shown to me there. 
My heart swelled in pride and the prayers infused into my soul
And my grandmother’s spirit sits with each Shabbat and I sing the Sh’ma

And now the hate has been unleashed. My heart cries and the fear creeps in

But as I head towards my sixth decade here on earth, my love and pride of my heritage swallows up the pain and fear

And I say “Never again”
I am a Jew and I am proud
I will never understand the hate but I will not give in to the fear
I am Jewish and I am proud
— Carol Calvery, 08/17/17

We'd like to hear from you, too. If you want to share your thoughts, feel free to enter them in the comments.