To commemorate the fourth anniversary marking the murders of elementary school children and their teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and to remember victims of gun violence, including those slaughtered at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Fla., the Bergen County Brady Chapter (formerly the Bergen County Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence) is taking part in a nationwide memorial.
On Wednesday, December 14, the community is invited to the interfaith memorial against gun violence at the Central Unitarian Church in Paramus, 156 Forest Ave., at 7:30 p.m.
Speakers will include Representative-elect Josh Gottheimer (D-5th Dist.), New Jersey state Senator Loretta Weinberg, Anthony Cureton of the NAACP, and Bergen Brady’s Dwight Panozzo. Religious leaders, including the church’s Rev. David Horst and Rabbi Jacob Lieberman of Temple Israel in Ridgewood, also will share words of remembrance. The church choir and soloist Frank Ortega will provide music.
Four years have passed since citizens came together in Teaneck to hold weekly vigils in the aftermath of the shooting in Newtown. The group that emerged has been working to support evidence-based gun legislation. With their coalition partners, including the Bergen County chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women, the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County, the Central Unitarian Church, the social action committee of Temple Emeth of Teaneck, and the Puffin Foundation, also in Teaneck, they continue to work for changes to reduce the number of mass murders and deaths by gun.
According to Brady Chapter president Ed Gross of Westwood, “some good legislation has since passed into law, but our Brady Chapter believes that much remains to be done. It is our hope that a large turnout to honor the victims in Newtown will also help to highlight the continuing need for legislation.”
The Bergen County Brady Chapter, with approximately 1,000 members, is part of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. It works in coalition with both faith and advocacy groups to push for the passage of bills to make communities safer.
On Saturday, December 17, Temple Israel & JCC in Ridgewood holds its annual “National Gun Violence Prevention Shabbat,” in commemoration of the Newtown murders. During 9 a.m. services, Sarah Nanus, founder of the Bergen County chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, will talk about gun violence and the need for public involvement. The synagogue is at 475 Grove St. in Ridgewood; more information is available at (201) 444-9320 or www.synagogue.org.