Below is a letter authored by Brian Ratner and sent to the Macaroni KID publisher community on behalf of himself and Jamie Ratner, his wife and business partner. The Ratners are the owners of Macaroni KID.
We are still absorbing the tragic events in Israel.
These events have hit particularly hard for many in our community, who, like our family, have recently observed through the Jewish high holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
Therefore, it has been challenging to find the right or appropriate words for a trying time like this one.
I spent a summer in Israel during college and studied Israeli history and foreign policy, which I have also followed closely since. So, I have a deep understanding of what it means to be a Jew living in Israel, as well as my own perspective on these events as an American Jew and citizen of the world that is informed by a broader understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict. I actually wrote my law school admissions essay on the subject.
With this perspective, Jamie and I want to express our shock and horror at this senseless act of brazen terrorism by Hamas against innocent civilians - from children to teenagers to the elderly - who were murdered, injured, raped, and taken hostage. There is never any justification or legitimacy for such atrocities.
We grieve for the loss of life and pray for the victims and hostages, their families, and all those affected. As we stand with Israel and support its right to defend itself and secure the safe return of hostages, we must never lose hope for a just and lasting peace for both Israelis and Palestinians.
We express our unwavering support for those in our community who are also shaken and saddened by these events, some of whom, like us, know people who have been directly affected. We come together to denounce terrorism, hate, antisemitism, and bigotry in all its forms.
We encourage you to reach out to one another and offer your support during this difficult time. We have witnessed many of you do this already, which we know is greatly appreciated.
If there is anything that we can do to help or support you, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Brian & Jamie