After the Election: A Common Purpose

November 18, 2016
By Avi Rose

Dear Friends,

As is likely true for you, I’m just beginning to emerge from post-election shock. I was deeply grateful to get my spirits boosted when our JFCS East Bay staff and board gathered together to share feelings and insights. In all our diversity–including political diversity–we reflected together on what we’re already seeing among the people we serve:

  • Refugees feeling frightened and unwelcome, now wondering whether they really belong in this country, despairing of ever being able to bring over the family members they had to hurriedly leave behind.
  • People who rely on the Affordable Care Act and Medicare for their health insurance, now wondering whether they will have access to health care.
  • Immigrants who had hoped for a pathway to citizenship, now wondering whether their families will get torn apart.
  • Young people of color feeling newly self-conscious in public, fearing hateful attitudes and actions.
  • Very young children not showing up at their preschools, kept at home by family members afraid of being out in the community.

Here’s what else we’re seeing: a surge of people contacting us since election day, wanting to volunteer their time and talent. They send messages like this one: In 1939, my great-grandparents sponsored the visas of three young men who were fleeing persecution in Germany. I would like to work directly with a refugee family so they too know they are welcome in our country.

Once again, we are inspired by the caring and generosity of our amazing East Bay community. Truly, this is a time when we absolutely need to pull together. It won’t solve all the problems we’re now facing, but connection and a common purpose are powerful antidotes to numbness and fear.

Our valiant and immensely talented staff will walk together with our clients, confronting fears and painful realities, building strength and resilience, offering healing and support. That is what we do. We are here, as ever, putting our community’s most cherished values into action. Join us. Your participation and support–as volunteers, as donors, as responders–make it all possible.

I’m well aware that you’re receiving many pleas for support during this difficult time; I receive them too. With humility, and with hope, I ask you to consider ours. I ask you to take action on behalf of those we are honored to serve: refugees, seniors, Holocaust survivors, parents, and children. In this challenging moment, please be as generous as you possibly can.

Wishing you comfort and strength,

Avi Rose
Executive Director