By COLlive reporter
As city leaders scramble for solutions in the aftermath of George Floyd‘s death, one Jewish mother has taken the fight against hate and bigotry into her own hands and now a viral photo of her son and his friend has inspired millions online.
Amber Adler, a civic leader and single mother in Southern Brooklyn regularly teaches her children, Yaakov (6) and Shmuel (8), the importance of civic engagement by keeping them engaged in helping the community. They volunteer as a family at local soup kitchens, participate in interfaith dialogue and even passed out surgical masks to community members in their area during the pandemic.
Last week, Adler was invited to speak at the memorial for Floyd who died at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, sparking nation-wide protests. Adler brought along her children and invited a few friends and their children.
“When we arrived, people were greeting each other by bumping elbows,” she told COLlive.com. “My son Shmuel saw his friend Ray Frederick did the same. Activist photographer Anna Rathkopf captured the moment,” explained the community-minded mom.
Adler shared the photo on Thursday night on Twiter and it quickly went viral. “This picture tells you everything you need to know about New York,” wrote Rabbi Elchanan Poupko, a writer and advocate who was one of the first to retweet the post.
On Reddit, the photo is posted numerous times with thousands of comments on each. The comments overwhelmingly highlight how viewers were moved and inspired by the post. “This photo will be in history books someday,” says Reddit user Ieieunununleie. Another Reddit user Mbjb1972 wrote, “I instantly welled up with tears seeing this. Amazing.” While yet another user, Basbeeky wrote, “This is 2020 in one picture!”
One Twitter user from Broward County, Florida shared the post and said, “If these children and their parents aren’t nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize then the process is flawed.”
Ray’s mother Ella Frederick, who is a teacher, said: “This is exactly why we need moms in politics. We are our children’s first teachers of love and acceptance, which makes us the first responders in fighting hate and bigotry.”
Adler estimates that millions of people have seen the photo. She said she is proud that people recognized the photo’s significance and that it made them feel a new sense of hope.