When I thought about writing this piece, I felt exhausted before my fingers hit the keyboard. As a Jewish person and a DEI practitioner, I need to make a statement about the events in Gaza, right? Yes.
The challenge is, I’m tired. Tired of the long history of people who want Jews to go away and not exist. Tired of hearing that hate crimes against Jews are spiking again. And I’m deeply saddened by news of the mass shooting in the state of Maine.
I need and want to be clear, even when my soul hurts.
So how do I write this article? First, I breathe. I remember that there is space for all of our grief, hope, anger, courage, and sadness. I remember that it’s okay not to know exactly what to say.
I pause and let everything be as it is.
And then I make my statement.
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are at the core of my personal and company values. The diverse identities of our team and our world should be celebrated.
It is on these principles that I strongly condemn all forms of terrorism, including the horrific actions by Hamas in Israel. I mourn the loss of life, recognizing that each life is precious. There is never a justification, and we must not excuse this attack and the resulting atrocities.
We must not let terror undermine our community and sense of belonging. Our community is in pain. My heart breaks for the people of Israel and for Jews everywhere. My soul also aches for the innocent people of all religions and identities in Gaza who have been injured or killed as a result of this horrific act. I stand with them.
Let us hold space in our hearts and time in our day to process. My team and I are here as a resource to anyone who needs to walk through this together.
A few parting words on helping others to process these events:
- Allow people, especially those impacted, to have complex emotions around this subject.
- Allow for strong emotions; sometimes it helps to just listen.
- Don’t expect Jewish people to speak on the subject if they are not ready.
- Make room in your organization for Jewish identity, which may or may not include Jewish religion.
- Recognize that support for Jewish people doesn’t automatically imply hate for other groups or agreement with specific policies. It means support for human beings in pain.
I can only speak for myself and say what I needed to say. It may not be perfect and I’m okay with that. I offer my care to those suffering, including those impacted by the shooting in Maine. Please connect with me if you need help.