These are trying and painful times, and after careful deliberation and thoughtful discussions among Chhaya staff, board, and allies, we have made the difficult decision to postpone our gala this week. The violence in the Middle East, and the ripple effects closer to home, have hit our communities hard. The idea of coming together in celebration seemed incongruous and especially challenging. Our aim is to reschedule the gala in the new year, at a time—we hope—when there is less violence in the world and we can gather in a true spirit of joy to celebrate Chhaya’s work.
We at Chhaya have been bearing witness to what is happening in Israel and Palestine with heartbreak and worry. We stand with our allies and community members in calling for peace in the region, the return of Israeli hostages, an immediate ceasefire, and the flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza.
The rise of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism adds to our unease and anxiety. We are reminded of the climate after September 11th when so many of our community members faced targeted violence and discrimination in housing, schools and workplaces.
We know we must counter this rising tide of hate. We also know that—consistent with Chhaya’s mission—building unity starts at the community level. And so, while we may not be gathering in celebration on Thursday, we remain steadfastly committed to our mission and to the communities we serve. After all, that sense of community is what gives us the strength, in the face of the profound challenges confronting us, to imagine—and build—a better world.
We thank you if you had planned to attend our gala, and look forward to seeing you when it is rescheduled next year. In the meantime, we would like to offer you a refund if you purchased a ticket, or we would welcome it if you choose to make it a general contribution. Regardless of what you choose, we are forever grateful to you for supporting the work we do.
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