Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook Chief Operating Officer, opened up about the Palo Alto Jewish Community Center bomb threat yesterday. In a Facebook post, she explained how her JCC had been closed as a result of the threat–but more importantly, she addressed what it means that over 90 threats have been made to JCC’s all across the country–and included a call to action.
Sandberg believes that we can longer sit idly around and watch as the Jewish community is threatened by violence. Fear is permeating parents and kids alike, and for good reason since it’s hard to know what to do–and how to tread with caution while also not scaring yourself or your kids too much. Many are asking themselves right now: What do we do?
Sandberg has an answer: We can’t back down. She wrote:
“This is not the way things should be. In America, no parent should have to feel their heart surge with worry from a text message suggesting their children may be targeted by violence because of how they worship, or their racial or ethnic identity, or gender or sexuality or what nation they immigrated from.
For Jews, the threat of violence raises a fear as old as our faith: that the places we feel safe might not be safe forever. Anti-Semitism is one of the most lasting hatreds, but we are not alone.”
She went on to point out that we can also stand in solidarity with others, subtly citing the Jewish/Muslim solidarity that has been growing in recent months (for instance, Muslim activists helped when Jewish cemeteries were vandalized)–which is a silver lining within all this chaos and madness:
“People of other faiths and racial and ethnic backgrounds also face threats to their lives and their loved ones. We reach out to them today in understanding – and in hope, for the Hebrew word for ‘community’ is connected to the idea of coming together with others. In our diversity, we find strength.
We stand against intimidation even when it is directed at the most precious parts of our lives – the schools our children go to, the places where our friends and our families gather to celebrate and study and remember and pray. We stand against hatred wherever it occurs and whoever is subjected to it, regardless of faith, race, gender or background.”
Read her full post below:
I really love the fact that Sandberg stresses how we all have to stand together, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, and religion–now more than ever. If we’ve learned anything at all from the past, it’s to see beyond the differences, and be united by our humanity–and by our love.