As I wipe my damp eyes and compose a letter, I’m reminded of something called hope. Hope loiters, almost invisible, patiently waiting for such times as these.
Last month, we announced an effort to raise money for the suffering people of Ukraine. The goal was $18,000 — a lot.
The money would be used to ease the suffering of men, women and children who have been attacked by Russian troops at the direction of Vladimir Putin. Temporary shelter, food, water and medicine are among the things we might provide — whatever small comfort we could provide was our goal.
In front of our eyes, a peace-loving nation is being reduced to rubble. Children murdered. Women raped. Men, bound at the wrist and shot at the side of a road.
It’s horrific and raw. So, I understand why some may succumb to the ghastly horror of it all. It’s not hard to give up on the world right now.
I, too, feel helpless. But there’s always hope. And as I say, it sits here silently waiting for times just like these.
The tears I wipe from my eyes as I write this letter are not the ones born of sadness; these are shed of humility and thankfulness.
I write this letter to thank you. We didn’t raise $18,000 for Ukraine. We raised over $26,000 — half of which was raised on April 3 by the art show hosted on our campus in South Bend.
It was heartwarming to see all the people who came out for the show, and the success of our fund drive is just the latest testament to the humanity and goodness of the people in our region.
So, allow me to thank you with all of my heart. Your support for the people of Ukraine proves once again that the men and women of Michiana are defined by goodness. It’s here in our synagogues. It’s here in our churches. It’s here in our temples and mosques. And it’s here in every neighborhood, city and town throughout the region.
I love this community. And I’m forever grateful to be part of it. Thank you and may G-d bless everyone who lives, works, worships and goes to school here in Michiana.
Published April 11, 2022 in the South Bend Tribune.