There are many times that I start this bi-weekly email with one topic and finish with a completely different topic. Such is the case with this installment. Earlier this week I wrote an entire piece on the importance of the JewishNevada Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs and how it is ending in just over two weeks and how we need as much of the community as possible to contribute. While all of that is true and vitally important, that's not what this email is about.
Like many in the world, I have heard about the abhorrent tragedies that have befallen the people of Aleppo. I have seen the pictures on Facebook and Twitter, but simply scrolled past in search of my friends' and my own "Humblebrags" about kids, dogs, or food. Aleppo has basically had the same impact on me as passing a traffic accident on the highway. Yes, it looks terrible, and of course I hope everyone is ok, but then the traffic starts moving and I'm back to listening to sports talk radio. Judging from the conversations that I'm having, the news I'm reading, and my social media feed…I’m not the only one who is "Rubbernecking" the tragedy in Allepo. Well, I've come to the realization that it is time to slow down, get out of the car and check on the situation. As a Jew, and as a human, I can no longer sit idly by and not point out that history is once again repeating itself.
To be clear, this email is not a position on the resettlement of refugees, or a case for US military action, and I am absolutely not going to place blame for the current situation on any elected official or administration. Additionally, I am not going to take the side of the Syrian/Russian alliance or the rebel groups. While some choose to take the time to place blame; men, women, and children in Aleppo are taking the time to go on YouTube to say goodbye to their friends and family as they truly do not expect to survive another day. The time may come to place blame or to find fault, but it is not now. It is, and has always been, the time to take the side of humanity.
As a members of the Jewish community, we are taught that we should never forget the tragedies that have been placed in our path. We are also guided by the principle to not only care for Jews in need, but to care for all people in need in a Jewish way. The Jewish way is to call out injustice that is being done to all people, whether they are around the corner or around the world and to use our collective memory as a reminder of the consequences of silence. Country of origin, or religion are of no consequence, because we, as Jews, were once those very same people. We've seen the impact of global silence. For these reasons and more, the situation in Aleppo warrants a response from the Jewish community.
We, Jews and non-Jews, need to call on our elected officials, call our media outlets, and use our own spheres of influence to raise awareness for the grotesque scenario playing out in Aleppo. I will be doing my part, starting with this call to action to our community. I would hope that you will follow suit and do the same.
Todd S. Polikoff I President & CEO