Stop hurting Jews and everyone else!

Out In Jersey magazine Editor Sam Martino
Out In Jersey magazine Editor Sam Martino

Editor’s Letter

The recent attack on Jewish people in Monsey, New York, happened when there was a gathering of Hasidic Jews celebrating the seventh night of Hanukkah in a rabbi’s home! A man with a knife rushed into the rabbi’s home and started stabbing a group of people who were celebrating.

Sadly, The Washington Post reported that “Jews are the most frequent targets of hate crimes in New York City, and that anti-Semitic crimes there have jumped 21 percent in the past year.”

What kind of depraved person does such a thing? Well, I guess the same kind of person who went into Pulse nightclub and killed over 50 LGBT people. We are all targets, and in the last three years, there has also been an increase in murders of transgender or gender non-conforming people, especially people of color.

I have been fighting against homophobia, xenophobia, racism, transphobia, and misogyny for a long time. Every day we hear of yet another mass killing. Everyone in this world is under attack. Going to a concert use to be a fun event, now it feels like you are taking your life in your hands.

What can we do? In this issue, we have chosen to feature the Jewish Family & Child Services of Southern New Jersey (JFCS). The JFCS welcomes all, no matter your race, religion, gender or sexuality.

Don Cook, a member of Aging with Pride, wisely said, “We are all vulnerable groups in the current social and political environment, and through oneness can be stronger against these influences, in doing so strengthens the world around us, and hopefully protects all rights to what every human being should have.”

Since February, the month of love is here, let’s start loving each other. It’s also the time we celebrate African American History Month, and in March we celebrate Women’s History Month.

We hear about famous men all the time, but rarely do we hear about women, and even rarer do we hear about women who are African American. Audre Lorde is one of those women who deserves to be celebrated. Audre Lorde was a civil rights activist, self proclaimed dyke feminist, and a poet. Lorde wore her titles proudly. She gave a voice to race, gender, and sexuality.

Lorde wrote “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”

Today, and always, I hope we can all celebrate our differences, and not allow them to divide us.

As always, I leave you with the reminder that we are coming up on an election. Let us join together and vote for sane, tolerant, accepting people who will keep us all in mind and heart.

Sam Martino
Maria Sammartino (aka Sam Martino), is a writer and artist for over 15 years. Maria started at Out In Jersey as the news editor in 2009, and shortly thereafter became the Editor-In-Chief. She has been published in the Philadelphia Gay News, The International Journal of MS Care, and others. Maria goes by Sam Martino because she believes that women are never given a fair shot - and doesn’t want her art or her writing to be judged based on her sex, but on the merit of the work.