An open letter to CSG
In my family there has been a long lasting joke that is applied whenever someone complains about something no matter how trivial. The response passed down from my grandmother is “Write a letter!” This comes from a time before social media, when the primary channel of activism was to write to your Member of Parliament or to the editor of a newspaper.
Our family’s misapplication of this principle to mundane situations like someone failing to take their dish to the dishwasher has become an ongoing source of humour.
Over the last weeks there has been a huge number of people within our community who have adopted this form of activism. There has been a proliferation of open letters that have circulated among the community regarding the crisis in Israel and the surge in antisemitism that we have sadly witnessed locally.
In response to the current situation, I wish to write my own open letter but it is not to complain, it is quite the opposite.
Dear Community Security Group,
I write to you on behalf of a very grateful King David School community.
We wish to acknowledge the staff, the volunteers, the board, and the donors that allow this vital organisation to serve such a valuable role in our community.
We are aware that you have always worked tirelessly to protect us but wish to note that your incredible work over the past 6 weeks has been just extraordinary.
You offer training, protection, analysis, advice and expert support to a community that is desperate for assurance and is feeling more vulnerable than I have ever known it to be.
Your mission is to “protect Jewish life and Jewish way of life” and this is so crucial right now.
You are available around the clock and have made yourselves visible across the community.
You have been responsive to our immediate needs and have also been there to offer care and wisdom.
There have been many difficult moments for community members which culminated in a very challenging situation last Friday night when we were shocked by hordes of protestors in Caulfield and the consequent evacuation of a synagogue. There has been horrendous content broadcast on social media and a significant sense of disquiet.
As the crisis has escalated, I keep thinking how blessed we are to have a group that is so dedicated to our wellbeing and so many volunteers who have so readily given of their time to ensure our students and families are kept safe.
With this in mind, Indeed to make special mention of the incredible team of dedicated volunteers that form the Parent Safety Group. We know that CSG’s training and their selfless and community-minded support makes us safe.
We also know that CSG’s close links with Victoria Police have helped it to gain an appreciation of the community’s concern and it has stepped up its presence and activity as a consequence of a genuine and trusting mutual relationship which benefits our community. This is one of many ways where your proactive and holistic approach has enhanced our security and safety.
I trust that our community is aware of the outstanding service that you provide and was proud to be present at the Jewish Community Council of Victoria Annual General Meeting this week when the CSG was formally thanked to rousing applause from the representatives of so many Victorian Jewish organisations that were present.
We wish to add our school community’s voices to the heartfelt expression of gratitude.
Toda raba and Yasher koach.