Jewish · slice of life

When Terror Comes Home

Last week, I shared my concerns about anti-Semitism in America on this blog.

Over the weekend, over 100 gravestones were desecrated at a Jewish cemetery in Pennsylvania.

Yesterday our local JCC was one of many that received a bomb threat. My family was personally affected by this evacuation. Friends and colleagues from across this country reached out to me when they heard the news. Their phone calls, emails, text messages, and Voxes reminded me there are many people who do not seek to do the Jewish people harm.

Last night, I wrote four letters – thanking various people for their efforts to keep evacuees calm and safe during the two hours everyone vacated the building.

Today I will return to my JCC to exercise. Sure, I could go elsewhere for a mommy-and-me barre class.  However, I choose to take it at my local JCC.

And as soon as my shoulder feels strong enough for swimming, I will frequent the lap pool at my local JCC again.

I lived in Manhattan on September 11th.  Initially, I was afraid. No one knew where the next attack would come from. However, as New Yorkers, we went about our daily lives by riding the Subway, eating at restaurants, and — once air space reopened — flying on planes. If there’s one thing I learned from those fall days in 2001, it’s that you have to keep living your life or you allow terrorists to win.

I am appalled by the continued bomb threats whose goal is to instill fear in America’s Jews and the many non-Jews who use Jewish Community Centers. I am disheartened by the lack of response from many in positions of power. I am dismayed this story — this fifth wave of bomb threats in two months — isn’t the leading news story on every major television network. But let me be clear, I won’t be afraid.

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29 thoughts on “When Terror Comes Home

  1. Stacey, thank you for bravely sharing your experience, your nightmare. I stand with you and your family and congregation. This must stop. I’m calling my Congressional representatives today to call on 45 to denounce anti-Semitism and get Bannon out of the White House.

  2. Stacey, Thank you for sharing your family’s horrific experience with us. We must know that these incidents are not occurring far away and are not remote. They are happening in our backyards (for me the York JCC was also victimized), and to friends and family. We must speak up to have the leaders in this country understand that hatred and violence can not be tolerated on any level whatsoever. I hope that your day is filled with friends reaching out and standing with you. I DO!

  3. This post, and stories of others personally affected by this wave of hate, is what needs to be shared and widely spread. People have become so numb to these news stories that they forget there are real lives being affected. I am so sorry this happened to you and your community. May I share your post on social media?

  4. I am so sorry that your neighborhood has been rocked with these threats. Your words to move on are important for us all to hear but we must beat terrorism and as you said moving on is how we best move forward. This is hard thing to do, but yes it is the right thing to do.

  5. I’m glad to know that you resume your life–not giving in to fear. This is important. Had we a president who did not use his paltry and often misinformed language to inflame his “base”–the frequency of these hate actions would be diminished. Hate crimes are given voice each and every time we remain mute. Thanks for posting as you did.

  6. I thought of you immediately when I saw this yesterday. I can’t believe this is happening in our America. I’m glad you are taking what you learned in 2001 and continuing on with your daily lives.

    As for me, I am teaching “Night” and sharing these happenings with my College Prep Lit students. We are making a lot of connections between then and now, unfortunately. But we have to fight ignorance with education and that’s what I can do.

  7. You inspire me, Stacey. I have been following you on facebook and thinking about your courage and conviction. It is so important to be brave in the face of adversity. I am proud of my Jewish heritage and will find more ways to promote a greater understanding of the many fabrics that compose an American quilt. We cannot be silent. Our voices must be heard. Marie Curie once said: Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

  8. Stacey, life is so fragile lately that we do need individuals who will not give in to fear. I am horrified at the amount of “hate” and negativity that is floating around disrupting our lives. It is with a positive attitude and the power of the pen that we can make a difference. I support your determined spirit and wish your town well.

  9. It is terrifying to think that what you believe will put you and your family in danger. I’m happy that you chose this space today to say it out loud. We need to face it and stand together. I worked at a JCC on the Lower East Side in NYC for two summers during college. I’ll never forget that feeling of community. אומץ

  10. I stand with you, and know that it’s so important that we demand action and that we continue our lives without being scared. I took my class to Costa Rica two months after 9/11 & every parent supported this journey, wanting to show all the children that we will not be afraid. It was an awesome experience. Good for you, Stacey to carry on.

      1. Just as you wrote about leaving Isabelle, that’s what we had to do, to show the students we would not be changed. With you, Stacey!

  11. I’m sickened by people who think their views are so much more important that someone else’s that they feel it is okay to desecrate a cemetery or call in bomb threats. I am glad you are carrying on with life.

  12. I have been thinking of you since your last post! I am so glad you and family are safe. I also am sadden but the lack of support and help from people in power to stop this craziness! Things must change! Take Care!

  13. I thought of you yesterday when our local JCC received a bomb threat and had to be evacuated. It was in the afternoon when many students are there for after school activities. My husband and I exercise there in the early morning. A dear friend wrote her newsletter message for our women’s group about this horrific event in our community. You are so right to exercise your courage and bravery by refusing to be afraid.

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