This year is the 75th anniversary of the Kindertransport, the nine month effort to bring Jewish children from Europe to England, to safety. That humanitarian project began shortly after Kristallnacht, the "Night of Broken Glass."
Among the more than 10,000 children sent to England was our friend and fellow congregant, Fred Ring. Fred will answer questions about his experience at our congregational Kristallnacht commemoration this Sunday, 4:30 pm. Kristallnacht is often seen as a watershed moment in the Nazi plan to rid Europe of Jews. But it was not the beginning of that heinous plan. It began with the increasing dehumanization of the Jewish people. The more the Nazi propaganda machine presented Jews as less than -- less than German, less than human - the easier it was to deprive them of their rights, property, and lives.
Anti-Semitism and all forms of racism are sinful, a denial of the essential value and dignity of those we consider the "other." Indeed, this was the theme of our recent event, cosponsored with the Decalogue Society of Lawyers, about hate crimes. Jewish tradition challenges us to see all people as created b'tzelem Elo-him, in the image of G-d.
Yes, we may disagree with "them." We may be in conflict with” them." We may be culturally dissimilar from "them." But we are, in the end, more like them than we often acknowledge.
Our annual Kristallnacht commemorations should teach us this important lesson.
I hope to see you this Sunday, 4:30, here at EHNTJC.
Rabbi Jeffrey Weill