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Rabbi Allison Berry speaks at Joe Kennedy III Press Conference

08/17/2017 10:34:43 AM


This morning, Rabbi Allison Berry addressed Newton residents at city hall, following remarks from Congressman Joe Kennedy III. Congressman Kennedy and Rabbi Berry spoke about standing up to antisemitism, racism, homophobia, and Islamophobia in America today, in respect to recent events in Charlottesville, VA, and across the country in recent months. Read the full text of her words below.
Congressman Joe Kennedy III will be visiting Temple Shalom for Shabbat on 9/15. Sign up for dinner today to hear more of his inspiring words.

After Charlottesville; The Promise of America

Today as we gather here, we harken to the words of Holocaust survivor and humanitarian, Elie Wiesel who once said:

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.

We cannot afford to be indifferent as the tides of violence fueled by hate rise. We cannot be indifferent when our divisions are greater than that which unites us. We cannot be indifferent as the earth beneath us shakes and the values and beliefs on which our nation was founded are threatened.

We must stand together in solidarity, united against racism, antisemitism and xenophobia.

My great-grandparents came to Boston escaping religious persecution. They dreamed of a better place where their children could grow. They dreamed of safety and security. They dreamed of a nation where we cared about the stories, the joys and the sorrows of our neighbors.

This was the promise that was America.

This week that promise, the commitment that America be a place, in the words of George Washington, “that grants bigotry no sanction and to persecution no assistance” has been greatly challenged.

Today and every day, we must meet that which divides us with deep and enduring love. We must love one another, even when we feel vulnerable and afraid. We must love even in the face of hate.

Let all of us of good faith come together and clearly articulate our vision of a decent and just society. In a world that is imperfect, may we strive to be human.

Sun, November 17 2019 19 Cheshvan 5780