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The Burden of the Collective Heart

Dear Friends,

I am writing to you today, feeling acutely the burden of the collective heart. Across this country, there is an increase in alarming reports of antisemitic hate crimes, assaults, and harassment. Of course, GLIDE condemns these actions that are born out of deep-seated bigotry, intolerance, and blame. There is never a justification for hate crimes. And there is also something deeper to address. 

Scapegoating of many shades has long been a precursor to violence and harassment in our nation, all proliferating from the common roots of fear and shame. Roots that are hard to bear. When we examine the collective history of our nation, we find narratives brimming with antisemitic hate crimes committed by individuals, groups, and government officials. We recognize the patterns and cannot be silent witnesses to a new wave of religious scapegoating and violence that targets a community that has suffered from centuries of oppression. History and our values demand more of us. 

GLIDE’s role has always been to bear resounding witness to this collective trauma, to shine a light on those bare roots, and to bring people together in shared humanity to forge solutions. We are both heartbroken and angry at the increasing scale and depth, and magnitude of scapegoating. Let me touch again on the burden of the collective heart – isn’t this ache a call to awaken to the larger task ahead of us? 

We know, at GLIDE, that America is at its best when we come together to support each other. This is our vision of what this country might be. May is Jewish American Heritage Month. Our nation is made stronger by the resilience, history, and cultural contributions of American Jews. Let us join together in recognition and celebration of this truth. 

We are mindful that the meaning of the Hebrew word Shalom means both peace and also wholeness. We work every day on the ground here at GLIDE to help and support everyone to feel safe and whole. We want to affirm, as always, that American Jews, like all of us, deserve to feel safe and secure in who they are, and deserve to feel Shalom wherever they might be. 

As a nearly 60-year-old social justice organization rooted in radical inclusion and unconditional love, GLIDE has always stood firmly with the Jewish community. We all are in this together. GLIDE is for the people. Always. 

L’ shalom,

Karen J. Hanrahan 
President & CEO, GLIDE