What can I say? Like so many, my heart felt shattered at the same time I was assembling these issues. But publishing a community magazine also offers an outlet for my own feelings regarding the stricken communities abroad, and here. Ever grateful for that and the support at home.
True to ‘sharing the heart of our community’, I heard from several local parents getting involved and from area business owners who wasted no time launching fundraisers, earmarking a portion of their proceeds, to help vital organizations get critically needed help and supplies to those most impacted. Children wrote cards, created bracelets, and more.
Before all the carnage took place, it’s perhaps fortuitous that I had already planned articles on coping with grief and sadness during the holidays; I’m glad for the valuable resources to consider in these editions.
Also, grateful to mindfulness expert Jodi Baretz who led an apolitical and humanitarian-oriented open women’s group with coping and stress relieving strategies to help anyone struggling with the psychological ramifications of a war from sadness to personal fears, and for leading the group in a loving/kindness meditation.
“Community is one of the most important things we have when we are going through this,” she said, and that could not be more true. I’ve assembled some poignant quotes from a vigil I attended, including from President Bill Clinton. See more below.
I attended other equally wonderful gatherings at press time, including a #BringThemHomeNow rally and vigil at the Anne Frank Garden of Remembrance in White Plains, and missed others in the interest of producing coherent publications during such a busy and stress-filled period. Janine Crowley Haynes weighs in with an abundance of sensitivity.
Also inside: stories which simply celebrate life and about those who cherish and protect lives, such as at the Mount Kisco Child Care Center, ARC Westchester, and Do Something… stories about those who touch hearts; you’ll find that in Adam Kaufman’s interview with Amy Ferris, author of Mighty Gorgeous, A Little Book About Messy Love.
I’m super proud of Armonk native Lisa Salko who relayed the inspiring tale of the 13 Driver’s Licenses to Stacey Pfeffer–Lisa’s role as Ambassador on this project comes at a time when the need for Holocaust and anti-hate education is an imperative.
The efforts in Briarcliff Manor toward greening, beautifying and sustainability could not be more community driven, so thrilled Michael Gold had a chance to catch up with the chair of the committee to get the scoop.
We also haven’t forgotten the arts. Nolan Thornton shares the inspiring ‘Westchester success’ story of country music superstar Jessica Lynn. We also have Pamela Brown’s profile of ‘Anatomy of Murder’ podcast co-host, Chappaqua’s Scott Weinberger. From the Jacob Burns Film Center, we spotlighted the joy of movies this holiday season, and membership.
And, there’s more. The usual eclectic ‘mix’, so enjoy.
Please take good care of yourselves and families during this difficult time but also don’t forget to embrace the joy of the season; a holiday train show at the Greeley House may be just the ticket. And per Elisa Bremner, be food waste conscious. On that final note, happy Thanksgiving and happy holidays to you and yours.
A Community Vigil to Stand with Israel Drew Wide Support
Public officials, including former President Bill Clinton, clergy, and students of Greeley’s Club E.N.O.U.G.H and Student Union conveyed powerful messages of solidarity, comfort, and support to the thousand plus who gathered one week following the horrific October 7 massacre in Israel. As one student stated: “Our fear of having Jewish lives being lost just because of their beliefs is a reality we are forced to believe in. Never again is now.”
New Castle Town Supervisor Lisa Katz: “Tonight, in the face of darkness, let our unity be a beacon of hope as we stand together in solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people in our hearts, in our words, and most importantly, in our actions…
Rev. Dr. Martha Jacobs: “I join with my colleagues in crying and stand as a witness to their anger, rage and deep, deep sadness… but also their hope.” “You know what? Hatred can never win. It only brings more pain and more devastation.”
Rabbi Jonathan Jaffe expressing gratitude to interfaith allies: “In dark and anxious times you have provided us lift and light. I cannot tell you how much we appreciate it.” “May we respond to Hamas inhumanity with our own acts of humanity, with acts of love and kindness and charity.”
Congressman Michael Lawlor addressing the worst attack on Jews since the Holocaust: “Today we affirm that we will always be Israel’s greatest friends and ally… we will never turn our backs on them.”
President Bill Clinton offered: “I hope all over America and the world people who believe in peace and freedom and fairness for everybody will be gathering like this. It made me proud to see all of you and proud to be a part of this community.”
County Legislator Vedat Gashi affirmed: “Hamas and their co-conspirators have nothing to do with Islam. That barbarism is antithetical to Islam and to any other faith.”
Additional poignant remarks were offered by state Senator Peter Harckham, state assemblyman Chris Burdick, and Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins. Concluding the vigil were closing remarks from members of the town’s Holocaust and Human Rights committee, the reciting of the Mourners Kaddish, a Memorial Candle lighting, and additional songs and prayers for Israel.