We’re still here

As a Jewish professional and a young Jewish leader, I feel an obligation to comfort those around me, but when the attack hits close to home it is difficult.

By KOTY MARINE
March 5, 2017 11:05
1 minute read.
A ROW of more than 170 toppled Jewish headstones is seen after vandals attacked a Jewish cemetery ne

A ROW of more than 170 toppled Jewish headstones is seen after vandals attacked a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis, February 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS)

In 2015, I boarded a plane to Poland. In a weeks’ time, I shivered through the Majdanek Concentration Camp, prayed in a children's cemetery in Tarnow, toured the Łódź Ghetto, saw mass graves outlined by tombstones at the Warsaw cemetery, stood still in a cable car, and walked from Auschwitz to Auschwitz-Birkenau the same way our ancestors did during the Holocaust.

My group shared stories of family members as we huddled together in the frigid cabins of Auschwitz-Birkenau vowing to remember history so that we would never repeat it again.

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Poland provided me with a true understanding of anti-Semitism.

Flash-forward to 2017, with 107 bomb threats to the Jewish community and counting, the desecration of the graves in Jewish cemeteries, the list goes on.

As a Jewish professional and a young Jewish leader, I feel an obligation to comfort those around me, but when the attack hits close to home it is difficult to comfort others when you struggle to comfort yourself. In an effort to move forward, I joined the 200+ other Philadelphians to ”Stand Against Hate” and restore a sense of peace and security in the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection.

The global Jewish community that I once found a sense of comfort in is now struggling to maintain its safety. So what do we do? How can I protect myself? My family? My friends?

I’ll go in the words of Elie Wiesel, “I swore to never be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation.”

We must come together as a people to support each other in the darkest of times – our future lies in our hands.


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