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Everyday more than 100 Americans are killed by guns and over 300 more people are injured. Friday, June 4 is Wear Orange Day, a national day of awareness about the scourge of gun violence in the United States.
If you or someone you know is experiencing mental illness, please know that you are not alone. You can always reach out to a family member, friend, clergy member, or other trusted adult. Please see below some lists of major national hotlines and crisis resources in the United States and Canada as well as selected Jewish communal resources. Some of these resources offer 24/7 crisis support, while others provide information and referrals in non-crisis situations.
The current wave of violence in Israel and Gaza is a heartbreaking human tragedy. The loss of innocent life (including that of children) rends the heart, destruction of homes and endemic fear defy the peace and security in which every human being deserves to live.
“We are deeply concerned and pained by the spiraling violence happening over the last several days in Jerusalem and beyond. At this challenging moment we want to emphasize that attacks perpetuating the cycle of violence delay peace and increase bloodshed."
As Reform Jews, we stand strongly together with our brothers and sisters in Israel. Over the past 48 hours, Hamas has launched a massive barrage of rocket fire on southern and central Israel. At last report, six Israeli civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands more - from Tel Aviv to Beersheba –are confined to bomb shelters. Innocent civilians in Gaza have fallen victim to this latest round of violence as well. Furthermore, the rapid escalation of violence within Israel's own borders between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel is a new, and deeply troubling, development. We pray that calm will be restored soon.
While some see this conflict in only stark black and white terms, it is intensely complex. To help navigate this complexity, we offer this resource guide, including material that may be helpful in laying out the context and nuances of this latest round of violence between Hamas and Israel.
Today we celebrate Yom Yerushalayim, the anniversary of that fateful day in 1967 when the Israeli paratroopers reached the Western Wall and announced: "הר הבית בידנו" -- “The Temple Mount is in our Hands.” That moment ushered in the the promise for Jews everywhere, after years of dreaming and longing, to come and pray before this sacred space.
Much communal focus has been appropriately directed at making the places we Jews gather safe from violent attacks by those who wish to cause us harm, from the spread of the deadly coronavirus during the pandemic, and other grave external threats. The time is long overdue, however, to confront an internal threat: abuse, misconduct, especially sexual misconduct in spaces for which the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) is responsible.