As the granddaughter of a holocaust refugee and the first Jew of Color to hold office in the largest City in our County, I was proud to join faith leaders to stand against anti-Semitism.
Anti-Semitism is not confined to a particular time or place and it is here in the Bay Area. No community member or elected official is immune. In fact, Jewish electeds in San Mateo County and beyond are being targeted. From Walnut Creek, down to San Jose, Sonoma, and in San Mateo our public meetings have been “zoom bombed.” Racists and anti-semites are using our City Halls to amplify their bigoted and hateful rhetoric in an attempt to impede governance and public discourse.
Unfortunately, in San Mateo it has already happened twice and we were forced to listen to calls to build less housing and more gas chambers. Our children are seeing more swastikas on our playgrounds and in our schoolyards than our generation.
Many of you know that my home was vandalized in 2020 and this month I received hate-mail delivered to my home address, where I live with my 2 kids. It was from the Goyim Defense League - a propaganda machine that denies the Holocaust and harasses Jews.
Days earlier, my close family friend Shirley Don, a loving mother and baker’s wife, died at age 94. She survived Auschwitz and the attempted erasure of her story when she is no longer living to tell it, is truly terrifying. Anti-semitism is a form of terror, systematic intimidation, isolation, and dehumanization.
It meant so much to be among people of all faiths and cultures to collectively grieve and learn about our Jewish thousands of years struggle to create a sense of home, safety and belonging. We appreciate the community sharing the heaviness of the suffering of so many Israeli and Palestinian lives lost in the war.
While we feel the darkness and will continue to stand in the light. We are all being called to lift the Jewish community in the face of anti-Semitism. Tikkun olam is our shared mandate to create a more just and equitable society.