News from Far (Israel) and Near (East Ramapo)

Shalom Chaverim,

The news this morning from Jerusalem was shocking and tragic. As soon as I woke up, I checked the news from Israel as I always do. Reading about a brutal murder of four Jews davenning their morning prayers in their shul, I called my friend Rena in Jerusalem. “What a long, lonely day this has been,” she told me. “I have been alone here in Israel with this news since 7:00 this morning, while all of my loved ones in America were sleeping. Now that morning is arriving in America, I have to go through the story again and again, as you wake up on the East Coast, then my family in the Midwest, and then on to California.”

By now you have read Rabbi Scheff’s blog, so you know that our fellow OJCers on the Volunteer Work Mission are far from Jerusalem, up in the North. They are all safe, but like us, their hearts are broken. Truly, this is the meaning of Am Echad, One People: When one of us is hurt, we are all hurt.

Call your friends and family in Israel today. Tell them that we are thinking of them. We are well aware of the shocking terrorist attacks that have been happening in these last few weeks, and we care deeply about the people of Israel. As my friend Rena said, they are feeling lonely.

Closer to home, last evening the State Appointed Monitor, Hank Greenberg, gave his report to the Chancellery in Albany after months of research into the crisis in the East Ramapo Central School District. As I listened to the live broadcast, I felt both proud of the work that the Rockland Clergy for Social Justice has done and undaunted, knowing how much work lies ahead. You can view an archive of the broadcast for a limited period of time. Copy and paste this link into your browser:

Please consider the dozen volunteers who are spending time at the Early Childhood Center at the Kakiat School. When I go to help in Mrs. Greenwood’s classroom, I experience in my very being the urgency of the issue of the education of the children of our county. Contact Sally Kagan: or call 845-290-0085.

With prayers for peace and blessings, Rabbi Paula Mack Drill

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