Letter on Community Security

San Francisco, CA – When I lived in the Soviet Union, one of my great quests was to visit the Ukrainian town of Starokonstantinovo, where my father's family had lived. When I finally visited, I was crushed to see that the only evidence of former Jewish life in the town visible to me was the desecration of tombstones in the cemetery. I did not sense a future for Jewish life in this town, and that image of desecration sadly and poignantly punctuated that thought. I cannot say the same about the deeply disturbing acts of hateful vandalism in Jewish cemeteries in the thriving Jewish communities of St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Rochester in the past two weeks.

With the recent spate of anti-Semitic actions around the country, our community is understandably on edge. As part of a rising national trend of hate speech and crimes, dozens of JCCs have been targeted by fake bomb threats, cemeteries have been defaced and vandalized, and other anti-Semitic incidents have been reported.

We believe that these cowardly acts are the expression of a small minority and are not representative of the vast majority of Americans. And while their actions are unsettling - and warrant our continued condemnation and vigilance ---- our Jewish communal foundations are too strong to be shaken. Our Bay Area Jewish institutions ---- from JCCs to JCRC to synagogues ---- are bulwarks against hate, actively engaged in the work of building alliances with other cultures and faiths, deepening the well-being of our Jewish and general community, and reinforcing an inclusive and compassionate society 1,000 times stronger than those who seek to bring it down.

We and our partners ---- JCCs, JCRC, schools, synagogues and others ---- are committed to the security of our institutions and the safety of those who use them. We all invest heavily in this essential function and will continue to do so.

In solidarity,

Danny Grossman
Chief Executive Officer
Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund


The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund connects people of all ages, backgrounds, and perspectives to the power of the Jewish community to improve the world. We partner with donors, organizations, and foundations to address pressing issues facing our community, and develop innovative strategies that result in deep and lasting impact locally, in Israel, and around the world. Learn more at www.jewishfed.org.

For immediate release

March 03, 2017