Community message regarding Uvalde tragedy and security/safety at the JCA

Dear JCA Community,


Each of us has been rocked by the news of the terrible murders of 19 schoolchildren and their teachers in Uvalde, Texas this week. And like many of you, I have found myself both wanting to leap into action and feeling acutely the limits of the scope of my expertise and agency. Violence and tragedy like this is devastating, terrifying, and impossible to understand.


I want to reinforce the focus on safety that our community has – by necessity – developed and maintained over the past 20 years. We have extensive internal safety policies and procedures which are reviewed regularly by local law enforcement. And we have the active support of FBI, homeland security, and the Secure Communities Network. Our foundational goal is to ensure the safety and security of our preschool students, campers, visitors, staff, community members, and program participants. The JCA Board and staff are committed to continuing to develop the resources to make ongoing improvements as needed to meet that objective. We know that nothing can be taken for granted, and that continued vigilance must be built into our systems and processes.


I also want to acknowledge the deep pain that we feel this week, as well as the way we may be holding it uniquely because of the many other challenges we’ve all faced recently: the pandemic and its attendant emotional, financial, and health-related crises; geopolitical turmoil; environmental calamity, as well as navigating without in-person support all the ‘regular’ trials and tests we each might expect to face over the course of our lives.


As we celebrate Memorial Day this weekend, may we draw resolve from the legacy of our forebears, who met peril and despair with commitment to a vision of a better future. There is a beautiful quote from Rabbi Nachman of Breslov that many of us return to whenever the brokenness of the world seems insurmountable: “If you believe it is possible to destroy, believe it is also possible to repair.” The prospect of transformation is built into our world. When we find disconnection, cruelty, and despair, we each have the power to turn our attention to repair through connectedness, kindness, hope, and action.


Thank you for all you do every day to make our community a safer, stronger, and more vibrant force for good.


Shabbat shalom,

Molly Curren Rowles
Executive Director

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