A month ago, we found ourselves confronted with the very worst of humanity. Once again, we dedicated our prayers, our thoughts, and our actions to mourning the lives of those lost in a senseless massacre. On Friday, March 15, a holy day in both the Muslim and Jewish faiths, 49 people were killed and dozens more critically injured, when two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, were attacked. As Jews, we are far too familiar with such reprehensible loss, and as Alephs and B’nai B’rith Girls, we recognize our responsibility to speak up in the face of injustice.
To our Muslim brothers and sisters: we are still here. We empathize with your pain and firmly plant our feet alongside yours in solidarity. We understand the sanctity of a place of worship and deeply believe in the right of all people, regardless of faith, to practice religion free from fear of violence. Our world has no place for hate, no place for intolerance, and we will continue to stand by you and with you.
We know tragedies like this too well and they continue to remind us of our obligation to take action. What have you done since March 15? For those of you that have been building bridges, thank you. To AZA and BBG worldwide: again, we urge you to take action alongside your communities and within your chapters.
These are just some of the ways that you and your community can take action:
• Spend time at a chapter program to learn about the atrocities that happened in Christchurch. Dedicate a moment of silence to the victims of the shooting, or participate in learning (resources can be found by scrolling to the bottom of the BBYO Safe Schools site).
• Fundraise like the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh did (check here for inspiration). After the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh this past October, the local Muslim community raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the victims.
• Write a letter to your local Muslim youth group in solidarity.
We mourn the lives lost in this senseless attack. May their memories be a blessing forever. Oseh shalom bimromav, hu yaaseh shalom aleinu, v’al kol Yisrael, v’al kol yoshvei teiveil, v’imru. Amen. May the One who makes peace in the high heavens make peace for us, for all Israel and all who inhabit the earth. Amen.
Hand in hand with our brothers and sisters from all faiths, we will build a kinder future for all humanity. Let’s get to work.
Mason, Aidan, Jake, Miles, Liam, Ethan
94th Grand Board of the Aleph Zadik Aleph
Noga, Emily, Marissa, Eva, Emma, Blair
74th International Board of the B’nai B’rith Girls
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
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