Get Up, Stand Up

Those of you familiar with Bob Marley will recognize the refrain. Stand up for your rights. Don't give up the fight.

Earlier this week, I stood up with 3,000 of my neighbors in Teaneck outside of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun, when a few dozen anti-Zionist agitators came to disrupt an event for ZAKA, Israel’s cherished first responders. We made it crystal clear that the eternal people do not fear these troublemakers.

One of the things about this gathering was that it came together in a couple of days; a second was that it was much more about Jewish unity and pride than it was about the group of Hamas apologists and their Neturei Karta lackeys. At a time when we are all anxious, this felt almost like a celebration. Young and old sang our songs, our hymns, our anthems, and demonstrated that we will not be browbeaten or cowed.

We can draw conclusions about ourselves and our communities from this. When we have an opportunity to unite - take advantage! When we can come together to celebrate, sing and dance, even if the clouds of war and uncertainty are bearing down.

So this week I draw your attention to Sunday, June 2, 2024. One of our cherished beneficiary agencies, JCC Rockland, is holding its annual founders brunch, and it is important to support our community organizations. JCC is recognizing Federation and several of our partner and beneficiary agencies, including Hillel Rockland, Rockland Jewish Family Service, the Holocaust Museum and Center for Tolerance and Education, and Israel Bonds. See below to learn how you can attend and be involved.

Also that Sunday, Federation is working with the JCC and the Rockland Board of Rabbis to bring our community out to the Celebrate Israel parade in New York CIty. We are arranging buses, and we are encouraging everyone to come and celebrate together. You can register to participate in this event, which is more important this year than ever before.

There are two kinds of pride in this world. There is the kind of pride that recognizes nothing but selfish interests, as the Torah says in Deuteronomy ‘It is my strength, and the reach of my arms, that has made for me this great success’. And then there is the kind of pride that we have in our children, in the institutions we build and support, in the community and the people we are a part of. That’s the kind of pride we must demonstrate, we must foster in our kids, and from which we can draw celebration and joy. So be proud, and join us on June 2nd. Again, details are below.