May 23, 2024
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May 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Frequently I am asked by friends, passersby and emails how I am able to find a topic to write about each week. The truth is that it is not easy at all and I am happy to hear the suggestions that people give me for future columns. Some are great ideas but would likely get me into big trouble with someone or other. It could be my children, my editors or local government officials who might vehemently disagree with what I say. Their thoughts often are that some content should be discussed in private but not necessarily in a public setting such as The Link. I do not agree, as I am a firm believer that if we do not bring out into the open certain injustices that are going on around us, or problems that people might be having, we will never be able to change things.

This is all keeping in mind that whatever I write is from my heart and meant most sincerely. I also try very hard to reiterate that we need to be thankful each day for everything that we have and all of those around us.

This community has taken a real hit lately. Too many kind, caring, wonderful people have passed away and many without any underlying causes. When I learned this weekend of Ilene Miller’s sudden passing I was in a state of shock. She who as a psychiatrist gave of herself on a daily basis, whose passion was her children, medicine, life and learning whatever she could about Torah. When I met her the first time, I was so impressed with her thirst for knowledge and how she proudly told me about her “date” once a week with a friend in Passaic, where they spent hours learning together. Did we need another reminder of the fragility of life? Haven’t we already learned our lesson?

The fragility of life has been seen repeatedly when people are accosted in various parts of New York City just for being Jewish. European Jews in some cities are literally afraid to show any outward form of their commitment to yiddishkeit. I could not believe my ears when I heard people say that they were glad that their teenagers were away the Shabbat of the pro-Palestinian demonstration here in Teaneck. City managers sent out notices that people should not worry because there would be a large police presence at the rally itself. Where are we living??

When I read that Jews at a pro-Israel rally in a central square in Montreal were accosted by a mob of Palestinians who pelted them with rocks, bricks and stones, I couldn’t believe it. Is this the peaceful city that I lived in and loved for so many years? I read first-hand reports of people caught in the middle of this melee who actually said that they were afraid for their lives. As the pro-Israel group was attempting to disperse they were followed in many different directions by hooligans whose intent was to annihilate the Jews in any which way. This is not about Israel anymore. This is the same old, same old rant and desire of so many—let’s get rid of the Jews.

Should we be frightened? I think that we should be. We have been living in a euphoric world where what happened in the past was thought by many to be over. Let’s not forget the famous words that were said, that history can easily repeat itself. I could not believe it when I read that in 1939, the German American Bund had a rally in Madison Square Garden that drew a crowd of 20,000 people. Six years after concentration camps cropped up in Germany the Nazis held a rally in New York City that was protected by the New York City Police Department!

One of my grandchildren asked me recently about why my parents and other Jewish families in the U.S. did not do something about what was going on in Europe. I explained that I thought that it was a different world and that we would never be silent today. I hope that I am right.

We certainly did our share of yelling and screaming during the days of the Gulag. My kids will never forget “2, 4, 6, 8. Open up the Iron Gate.” We went to Ottawa with baby strollers and a wheelchair to protest. We stood on the corners of Washington Heights raising money for Israel during the Six Day War, and I am proud of the fact that we as Jews were marching into Selma, Alabama.

It is a rude awakening to hear people be concerned to be anywhere near the Teaneck City Hall during the pro-Palestinian demonstration. Thank God it was peaceful, as it should be.

My grandparents left Germany in 1938 by the skin of their teeth. They left behind everything that they owned. I agree that it seems impossible for such a thing to happen here, but I also know that anything is possible. Who are we kidding? It seems outrageous that a beautiful home on The Strand could one day have its doors knocked down by anti-Jewish terrorists. Never would it happen on Churchill, Trafalgar, Lafayette or any other street in our beautiful neighborhoods. But my grandparents thought the same about their home on Bruckenalle 10 in Berlin. They were wrong.

For those who are able, now more than ever is the time to consider where our real home is. Those young chalayim are fighting for all of us. Let’s not disappoint them by constantly procrastinating about making the move. Life truly is too fragile to wait.


Nina Glick lives in Bergenfield with her husband, Rabbi Mordechai Glick, after many years of service to the Montreal Jewish community. Nina coordinated all Yachad activities in Montreal and was a co/founder of Maison Shalom, a group home for special needs young adults. She can be reached at [email protected].

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