Coming Together in Spite of Darkness

4 years ago Oryah Lahijani 0

It is 10:30 A.M. on a beautiful sunny day. I just finished my second class of the day. I checked my phone, as I typically do, to check on my snaps. Except this time, my heart dropped to the ground and my eyes filled with water. Something that I would have never expected happened. It was the first text message I got about my JCC receiving a threat.  My head was spinning with, “How could someone do this”. The JCC is not an ordinary community center. It is a community full of love, unity, and true family. It is a second home to not only me, but the entire community. The JCC is a place of laughter. A place of celebrations. A place for charity. A place for family and friends to create memories. A place of peace. However, evil is attempting to break up the peace. The evil is anti-Semitism, something the Jewish people have been faced with for far too long. If there is anything that the attackers should know about us, it is that we only get stronger from the hatred. Over fifty-four Jewish Community Centers in over eleven states have received threats, threatened to separate our communities and instill fear. The attempts of hatred will fail time after time. Evil acts will only bring out love, support and unity from the community. We will combat the hate with only love and support. Later on, I learned that not only was it my JCC, but other JCCS, a Jewish cemetery and a Jewish school. Later on, I found out that the Jewish school that got threatened was a school my dear friend, Rachel Wilkes, attends. It was in that moment that I realized the Jewish community is so small. Yet, our voices are so loud. Just like Rachel’s in FL and mine in DE. We will stand up to this hatred.  Anti-Semitism is not going unnoticed. The Jewish people will keep our heads up and together. The attackers’ goal is to break us down. Yet, we will only get stronger! “I’m a Jew and Proud” will always live within each and every one of us. Anti-Semitism is on a rise. There are so many ways to fight it. How will you fight it? How will you change it? What are you going to do? As for me… I will stand up and show my Jewish pride everywhere I go. I will stand up for the state of Israel and the Jewish people.