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Statement on the Rally and Violence in Charlottesville, Va.

08/14/2017 01:26:11 PM

Aug14

Dear Temple Shalom Community,
As the clergy of Temple Shalom, we are shocked and dismayed by the news of the white supremacist rally and violence in Charlottesville, VA this weekend.
According to reports, statements by white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other far-right groups included echoes of some of the worst times in our history. Sadly, this hate spilled over into violence, and at least one individual was killed and 19 were injured when a man drove a car into a group of counter-protesters.
In light of these troubling times and the upcoming High Holy Days and the start of the program year we are reviewing every element of our security protocols. We continue to work in partnership with the Newton Police Department to ensure that we are taking all appropriate steps to keep our members and building safe.
In a statement by the Central Conference of American Rabbis, we are reminded of the great rabbi Hillel who said, "In a place where nobody is human, strive for humanity." The message of anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia combined with violence strike deeply to the core of our humanity and all of us who are people of color, immigrants, and individuals of good will. We must not stand idly by in the face of hatred. The Jewish community must be united with all communities to work against anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination in all its forms.
As we mourn the loss of life and pray that calm will be restored, we endeavor to be among the many Americans who work together to prove that our country can rise above this to fulfill its promise of being a nation that, in the words of George Washington, grants "to bigotry no sanction and to persecution no assistance."
We are proud to be part of the Reform movement and the Boston Jewish community. Please click through to read statements by the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Union for Reform Judaism and the Jewish Community Relations Council/Combined Jewish Philanthropies condemning hate in Charlottesville.
Consider attending a vigil against hate this evening, August 14th, 7 PM at Waltham Commons. Call your government officials to share that our country cannot be a place that condones racism, anti-semitism and xenophobia.
May we continue to work towards a day when our nation will be a place of peace and tolerance for all.
L'shalom (In peace),
Rabbi Allison Berry
Rabbi Laura Abrasley

Cantor Peter Halpern

Thu, November 15 2018 7 Kislev 5779