FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2022

CONTACT
Manisha Sunil, West End Strategy Team
[email protected]; Phone: 202-417-0171

Interfaith Solidarity Is Needed To Combat Antisemitism, Says Rabbi and Religious Freedom Advocate

WASHINGTON—Interfaith solidarity is needed now more than ever following the attack on Congregation Beth Israel, say religious freedom advocates. Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, released the following statement:

We are more than relieved that our siblings at Congregation Beth Israel are safe, and are thankful for the work of law enforcement and other first responders at the scene. Our first freedom guarantees that every American, regardless of faith or belief, has a right to worship free from fear and violence. Unfortunately, as we saw yesterday and as we’ve seen time and again in recent years, this civil liberty remains out of reach for so many.

In addition to my work with Interfaith Alliance, I am rabbi emeritus at Agudas Achim Congregation, where I served as rabbi for nearly 27 years. Like so many in the Jewish community who watched in horror as yesterday’s events unfolded, I knew that this could have just as easily been my own synagogue, just as Tree of Life in Pittsburgh or Congregation Chabad in Poway could have been. Though details are still arising around the motive of the perpetrator, no one can deny that antisemitic rhetoric and conspiracy theories, including from members of Congress, are putting the lives of Jewish Americans at risk.

To protect our friends and neighbors, we must join together across lines of difference to dismantle the machinery that generates fear and divides people against one another. Anyone who uses this crisis to further anti-Muslim bigotry is doing nothing to stop the rising tide of antisemitism, and is only fueling the fires of hate and discrimination that endanger all religious minorities.

Just a few days ago, I was in conversation with partners in the American Muslim community about how I, as the leader of a national interfaith organization and a rabbi, could be an ally in the fight against anti-Muslim bigotry. So when the news broke yesterday of the crisis in Colleyville, it was of little surprise and significant comfort that I immediately heard from the very same friends and partners with whom I had spoken earlier. They wanted to know how they, as leaders of Muslim organizations, could show up for their Jewish siblings.

It should take no deliberation or negotiation for any and all of us to reject those who seek to harm members of other faith (or non-faith) communities. We do so without hesitation when our own members are the targets, and we should do no less when our own members are the perpetrators. We refuse to let this painful moment divide us; to the contrary, interfaith solidarity is needed now more than ever.

If you are interested in speaking further with Interfaith Alliance, please contact Manisha Sunil at (202) 417-0171 or [email protected].

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Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit www.interfaithalliance.org.