Kehillah stands with the AAPI Community – a letter from Randy Ribay, Diversity, Equity, Belonging/Social Justice Coordinator
It’s full of grief and frustration that I write to you today. As a Filipino American, it’s been a difficult year not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic but also because of the rise in anti-Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) hate crimes, many of which have occurred right here in the Bay Area. Even though this is certainly not new to our country, each video or article or story about someone being harassed or attacked for no other reason than their race only increased my concern for my AAPI family and friends.
Then, this past Tuesday night, my heart felt like it shattered when I heard about the Atlanta area shootings, in which the killer took the lives of eight people: Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Comment start Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, and Yong Yue. Since the shooter targeted Asian spas and six of the eight victims were Asian or Asian American women, this hate crime has brought fresh trauma, anger, and fear to our already hurting AAPI community.
As a member also of the Kehillah community, I ask you to join me in lifting up the victims and their loved ones in your prayers or thoughts. I also want to reaffirm that Kehillah stands in solidarity with the AAPI community. Jewish teachings and our Four Commitments make it clear that every life is inherently valuable and equal. If we are to embody these beliefs, then we must do what we can to support those hurting right now, and we must work collectively against racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and other hateful ideologies.
Here are some resources you might find helpful:
- An article with concrete tips on how to support the AAPI community
- An Instagram post with more ways to help the AAPI community
- An article that shares the author’s experience as an Asian Jew
- An article on self-care in the face of anti-AAPI racism
- Asian Mental Health Collective’s AAPI therapist directory
- Comment thread with therapists willing to help AAPI community members at a reduced rate
- A website where you can report a hate incident
Be safe, and be well. Let’s continue to work toward building a community and a society where everyone belongs.
Diversity, Equity, Belonging/Social Justice Coordinator