This Moment in Time

Dear family, friends, community here in Northern Virginia, around the US, and throughout the world. I’ve been reposting and sharing messages of desperation, anger, solidarity, and hope on social media from friends and organizations because I wasn’t ready to put into the ether, my own thoughts about this moment in time. Perhaps I’m still not ready, but can’t stay silent any more.

In the early months of the pandemic, I recall feeling that the word “unprecedented” had evolved into white noise as it was written and spoken in every communication referring to what was taking place around the world. Yet, in the beginning, that was the perfect word to describe the impact of Covid on people, hospitals, communities, and economies the world over.

Like many of you, the lens from which I view the world forever changed on Saturday, October 7, 2023. And now, I’m asking myself, will the words “horrific,” “terrifying,” and  “unimaginable horrors” also become white noise? As the images coming out of Israel are viewed on digital screens, whether handheld or larger, will the world become desensitized to the atrocities on display? Will it seem like it is just another Arab-Israeli conflict that’s “over there” and “not my problem”? Is human decency not our problem?

This moment is not about Pro-Israel or Pro-Palestine, there will be time for that. This is about Pro-Humanity. Anti-Terror. This moment is about supporting those who are willing to risk their lives to fight in the name of peace, security and acceptance.

My father, Al Fuchsman (z”l) passed away two weeks ago. In our community, he was well respected and is being remembered for his lifelong commitments to three pillars: Family, Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World), and Justice for All. What would he say now when all three are so deeply impacted in this moment? I find myself wondering if his untimely passing was actually timely so he can lend a helping hand from above. Perhaps he was meant for greater work than he could accomplish here on Earth. I’d like to believe that.

Many Jews and Israelis are being asked if they are okay. Likely, they are not. I am not. But, as a people, we are resilient and are individually, and as groups, finding ways to feel that we are doing something, anything, to help change the trajectory that we are on. The Pozez JCC is a place for belonging – where people of all backgrounds, identities, religious beliefs, and political affiliations can gather in harmony. On Thursday, October 12, more than 1,600 community members came together in solidarity for Israel and for each other. It was a moving evening and the feeling of connection and Peoplehood was palpable. The J will continue to provide and to share opportunities for healing and action over the coming days, months, and years as we lean deeply into our role as a community connector. (I invite you to see this page for what can be done now to Stand with Israel and click here to view the vigil).

I hope that however you are impacted by this historic moment in which we find ourselves, that you have the support and sense of commUNITY needed to move from darkness to light and hope you join me in praying for our friends and family in Israel and for a time of peace, security, and acceptance for all.

B’shalom, Laura 

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