Should someone in a leadership position openly display vulnerability? I have no idea what the right answer to the question is. I do want to share a story.
Last Friday, I, along with several other Jewish communal professionals, participated in a session about crisis marketing. It was conducted pro bono by a lay leader from the Cleveland Federation who has a firm specializing in this field.
At the beginning of the session, he shared a real life example of one New York company experiencing a major crisis. For several minutes, he played a soundtrack of voice mails and calls from television, radio and print media reporters calling the CEO of the company for an interview. It was a barrage of media requests. That soundtrack of these reporters brought me right back to October 27, 2018. These same type of reporters were after me. They called my office number, my cell number and even my home number. It was insane and invasive. At one point, and this is true, an Israeli reporter called me on my cell phone and I expressed myself with some words I would never write in my weekly message.
That soundtrack brought me right back to October 27, 2018. My heart sank. I got teary. I am not psychologist (I am married to one) but it seemed almost like a mild PTSD-type reaction. It calmed down rather quickly, but the overall impact of bringing those memories to the surface lingered. I was able to go back and refocus on the training, though clearly, since I am still talking about it, the experience shifted a part of my focus.
Next week, we will mark two years since that attack. Two of our community members were shot and injured. Several police officers were injured. We lost 11 innocent lives. We will never forget. I hope you will join me at some of the programming organized under the leadership of the 10-27 Healing Partnership with the three congregations and other organizations, including the Federation. See the offerings from hands on volunteering, Torah study and a communal gathering.
But I use this email also as a call to all of you to pay attention to your mental well-being. There are resources available for you or your family members at the 10-27 Healing Partnership website or through the Jewish Federation’s beneficiary agency, Jewish Family and Community Services.
Wishing Andrea and Dan continued healing and granting constant comfort to the nine families who lost loved ones.