A note from Rabbi Alissa Wise on the violence this Chanukah

Last night as I lit the candles with my family for the last night of Chanukah, it was difficult to access joy. Every day of Chanukah this year brought a new form of antisemitic violence and harassment in the U.S. Saturday night in Monsey, New York, 5 were wounded by an armed attacker at a Chanukah gathering. So today, I write to you with deep sadness. I am not going to mince words: I am terrified.

Out of this fear there is a clarity of purpose. I know that JVP has an important leadership role to play in this moment. As a Jewish organization that believes freedom and justice for all people is the only path to true safety, we must play a leadership role in the fight against the antisemitism, Islamophobia, and racism plaguing Trump’s America.

We cannot allow our Jewish communities to become bunkers surrounded by police, further endangering Black Jews and other Jews of color. We cannot allow this moment to be used to justify Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. We cannot allow our pain and fear to be weaponized against another community.

We have to make our voices louder. We have to make our vision clearer.

The rise of antisemitic violence this past week highlights the urgent need to organize as Jews with our allies who share an expansive idea of equality and freedom. We must be ready to defend against the rise of white supremacist antisemitism, racism and Islamophobia in the U.S. and across the globe. And we need your help.

But today, we pause to feel our fear and our deep desire and commitment to realize a world that respects and defends all of us.

In sorrow, and solidarity,

Rabbi Alissa Wise
Acting Co-Executive Director


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