Rosh Hashanah is a time to take stock of our lives and to renew our attachments to each other and our community. One of the things that this past year showed us is that anti-Semitic violence can find us anywhere. It can find the Rosenthal brothers in Pittsburgh. It can find children in Poway. And it can find Jews in parks and on the streets in Brooklyn.
It is critical for us, in our own lives and as members of a wider community, to stand together with people who are being targeted for what we share in common: the fact that we are Jewish. If we don’t, it is futile to expect that anyone will do anything other than mouth the same old well-meaning platitudes when the next Jew is beaten—or worse.
This can’t be normal, and it won’t be—unless we stay silent.
Tomorrow, crowds in Pittsburgh, Poway, and Brooklyn will gather to show each other, and everyone else, that in the coming year we will not let Jewish lives be overlooked, left unprotected, or be snuffed out.
We are Jews, or Jewish-adjacent persons, or people who care about our community and other communities that are threatened by violence and hate. We are standing together to show solidarity with people who have been injured or killed for being Jewish in 5779. It is our belief that Jewish solidarity is a way to save lives.
In Brooklyn, we will be meeting at the site of the recent attack against Abraham Gopin—who will blow shofar for us.
Alana Newhouse is the editor-in-chief of Tablet Magazine.