To our Bender JCC Community, We are about to read in our haggadot about the 10 plagues that God inflicted on the Egyptians so that the Israelites would go free and the world would know God’s power. As we recite the plagues during the Seder, I know that I will be thinking about the phone call and email bomb threats we received at the Bender JCC. They were, in many ways, plagues inflicted on us. In all, 88 Jewish Community Centers or day schools that share campuses with them, in 36 states and four Canadian provinces, received 134 bomb threats over the past three months. Those are mindboggling numbers that impacted tens of thousands who participate in their JCCs in the same ways you do here. I will also be thinking about the rise in anti-Semitism across the globe, in our country and in our backyard, and more broadly, the rise in hate speech and crimes, as ongoing plagues that we are facing. The exodus from Egypt involved the first communal act of the Israelites as a people. Today, security is our shared communal responsibility of staff, members and participants. In the past I have asked you to fulfill your responsibility by being watchful and requesting that if you see something, say something. Today, I am asking you to take on more responsibility. I am reaching out to ask for your financial support to help fund the increased, unbudgeted costs that we are facing as a result of our new security procedures. To date, we have already added $40,000 in annual operating costs and I know that additional investments will be required. Whether you have been a long-time member or are a new member, whether or not you have donated to the JCC in the past, I ask that you consider making a special donation to support our security needs so that we do not have to divert funds from programs that are core to our mission as we navigate being both an open and welcoming Center and a safe and secure Center.
There are three ways to donate:
- Call: 301-348-3855 (with a credit card)
- Mail a check to the Bender JCC, 6125 Montrose Road, Rockville MD 20852 (note that it is for security)