People of faith must come together to save the family

by | Apr 19, 2013 | Other News

I was truly touched while being a guest at the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Community Relations Council’s Community Faith Leader Seder a few weeks ago. It was a time of reflection and fellowship. I was touched to open the Haggadah and see a picture of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a rabbi locking arms in the quest for freedom and equality back in the 1960s. It was a picture of the faith community standing together for what was right and just. It brought back vivid memories of when I, too, marched with Dr. King for the sake of righteousness.

As a faith community, we need to come together once again to send a clarion message against drugs, gangs and violence. We should be locking arms to wake up a sick society that is allowing an evil world to ruin the family values that our parents worked so hard to protect. How can we stand by while our children are killed not only at the movies, playing in the community, but also while just trying to learn in the classroom?

According to the Children’s Defense Fund’s latest report in March of 2013: Everyday in America five children or teens commit suicide, seven are killed by firearms, 208 are arrested for violent crimes, 467 for drug arrests, 914 teens birth a child, 2,867 high school students drop out, 4,500 children or teens are arrested and 2,702 children are born into poverty. This is not the end of the story folks: from 1979 to 2010, 119,079 children have been killed by gun violence.


I was encouraged that at the Seder, Rabbi David Goldstein came beside me to say the Jewish community should stand with us on our campout on May 4 and 5 in Newport News at the Newport Harbour Apartments, an underserved, high-crime area.

This is a neighborhood area where, in the past year, a four-year-old baby was raped as well as her eight-year-old brother. We must stand together, as in years past, as a faith group of “Oneness” against those who violate the right of every family member to feel safe in their own neighborhoods. Once again, we must stand together and camp out for freedom of humanity as we fear nothing but God! It is time to cross the Red Sea of gang violence again to establish hope and unity among all of God’s people.

The special 20-hour program on May 4 and 5 has a three part goal:

• Expose an underserved portion of the city’s population to the already existing array of city and private services that are integral to the goal of reducing gang violence;

• Use additional tools provided by the sponsors of the Save the Family Campout, the local faith community and area businesses to enrich the experience of those attending;

• Establish a new network of touchpoints, (Lighthouses) within the neighborhood to provide onsite links to the services and tools outlined above.

If completely successful, the Save the Family Campout will serve as a model for other neighborhoods or cities throughout Hampton Roads and make existing city, charitable and faith-based services more effective.

To help in this effort, or learn more about the initiative, call 757-213-6992 or email