by Tamar Davis, CEO, Gateways
In the coming weeks, our Mitzvah Mensches class will be learning about how, this year, Israel helped to rescue and welcome nine Holocaust survivors from Ukraine on the eve of Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. As moved as I was to read this news yesterday, each year I’m heartbroken again to remember the very first Nazi extermination program, called T-4, which specifically targeted and murdered over 250,000 adults and children with disabilities. As I’ve reflected previously, to be Jewish and to have a disability is to be doubly vulnerable. When we embrace the mandate of “Never Again,” we understand this to mean we cannot be silent when we see injustices happening in the world.
There is a Jewish custom to pray for dew (tefillat tal) on the first day of Passover. One of the poetic verses in this moving prayer reads, “Free Your favored ones from bondage, sweetly we will sing ‘v’kol narim!’ (and raise our voice!)” While we may feel helpless at times, we can always find ways to show up, to pause for a moment of prayer, to give donations to causes that aid our most vulnerable populations, or to attend a rally or gathering in support of those in need (thank you again to the JCC of Greater Boston for bringing together hundreds of people to provide support to our sister JCC in Dnipro).
Let us all find the strength and courage to raise our voices as we carry out the mandate of “Never Again.”
Tamar Davis, Chief Executive Officer