Dear NVHC Family,
The last month, since the October 7th Hamas attack on southern Israel, has been gut-wrenching for all of us. Many members of NVHC have spoken to us about loved ones in Israel, about connections to people who were killed or kidnapped, about family with children called up to serve. A fog of grief, anger, and fear has settled on all of us. To make matters worse, the crisis has caused a spike in anti-Semitism all over the world, and college campuses have become exceedingly hostile to Israel and to Jews. This is a time for communal solidarity.
We invite you to gather with us in the NVHC sanctuary on November 9th at 7:00 PM to reflect on what has passed and talk about what’s ahead for Israel and for American Jewry. In a tragic coincidence, that date is near the end of sh’loshim (the first 30 days of mourning since the funeral) and is the 85th anniversary of Krsitallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass in Germany that many people see as a key step in the run-up to the Holocaust). As we mourn we note that the end of sh’loshim is when a mourner begins to emerge from the immediate grief and begins work on building life ahead. That is what we need to do as a congregation. We ask ourselves:
How can we support and honor Jews as the suffering continues in Israel and around the world?
How can we maintain our support for the State of Israel as we are bombarded with images of the horror of war in Gaza?
How can we rely on our history of interfaith partnership and rebuilding democracy to create a better discourse around Israel and Palestine here in America?
When we gather we will rely upon the Rebuilding Democracy Project’s Congregational Conversation format which we have developed to deepen our discourse and create opportunities to foster viewpoint diversity. The evening will include prayer, study, silence, story-telling and the sharing of ideas. We do this within the covenantal relationship we share as members of NVHC, because our communal values ensure dignity and respect for all perspectives.
Central to the event is storytelling. If this situation has had an impact on your life in some way, please share your story with us. Think about how you have been experiencing this, and consider sharing your story with your NVHC community. If you are interested, please contact ShowClick Here to View Contact Information in advance so that we can make sure you are part of the program.