We are privileged at Temple B’nai Chaim to serve families from multiple towns in our area, and I am saddened to share that not one of our surrounding communities is spared such incidents of antisemitism. I have heard from families with children in at least 6 different school districts who came to me after their children were either targeted themselves or witnessed another student being verbally assaulted because they are Jewish. This is happening now in our own backyard in 2023, and none of us is immune.

The story of Pesach and our redemption from slavery is a fitting backdrop that reminds us of the courage and faith it took and still takes to stand up to those in power or in the majority who, out of ignorance or intolerance, will go to disgusting lengths to other, shun, silence and hurt those whom they don’t understand – be it Jews, Muslims, LGBTQ+, black and brown-skinned… the list is long. We must remember that an act of hate against any
marginalized community serves only to sanction such action against all minorities.

So as we gather this evening and tomorrow to retell the story of the miracles that God provided to deliver us, “Mi Mitzrayim,” from the Narrow Place that was Egypt – from the constriction of slavery to the expanse of freedom – let us remember that in our world today, it is we who must speak out. It is we – each of us – who must stand up as Moses against the bigotry and hate of antisemitism. I encourage you to become involved and let your voices be heard! Please join us on April 21st at 6:00 pm for dinner followed by a special “Antisemitism is Now” Shabbat, and learn about what is happening now and how YOUR synagogue, TBC, is taking action and working with other synagogue communities to push back against the rising tide of antisemitic hate. RSVP HERE. Become a part of our Antisemitism Action Group and make your voice heard along with your fellow community members.

Join us also in Greenwich on Thursday April 27th at 7:30pm at Temple Sholom to hear from ADL’s Oren Segal about how the ADL is addressing the unprecedented increase in extremism and hate, and learn from other thought leaders about how our community can fight antisemitic extremism. (Information here.)

And most importantly, remember as we read the Haggadah, that Passover is at its core, a festival of liberation and the journey to freedom we take together as a community. In the coming days, we have the opportunity to remind ourselves and our children of the history of our freedom and the importance of protecting it – the freedom to worship, to express ourselves and to live safely regardless of our faith, identity or background. This Pesach, may we treasure this freedom and continue to ensure its endurance from this generation to the next…

Wishing you all a Chag Pesach Kasher v’Sameach – a Joyous and Compassionate Passover from my family to yours.

Cantor Harriet, John and Rosella Dunkerley