Center for Interfaith Cooperation has strongly condemned vandalism at Congregation Shaarey Tefilla, a synagogue in Carmel Indiana. In a statement, the CIC termed the incident as shocking- a blatant act of hatred right in our own backyard.
“The Center for Interfaith Cooperation is both grateful and proud to have board members and friends in many diverse faith communities. When one of us is threatened by word or deed, we stand together, both to support the targeted religious community and to raise the alarm about the spread of hatred in our society today. We collectively commit to courageously fight bigotry and discrimination.
“The vandalism at Congregation Shaarey Tefilla, a synagogue in Carmel Indiana, is shocking- a blatant act of hatred right in our own backyard. It is disgusting and deeply saddening to know that such hatred exists in our community.
However, at CIC, we are unified in turning that sadness, disbelief, and anger into motivation to further our vision to create “a community that pursues peace through interfaith understanding and cooperation.” What is evident, is that each of us at CIC is more deeply affected by this display of hatred because we know, work with, and have a deep abiding respect for members of Shaarey Tefilla.
“Antisemitism — belief or behavior meant to threaten, isolate, oppress, or injure Jews or the Jewish community — is increasing at an alarming rate. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports that Jews are the number-one victims of religiously motivated hate crimes.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has documented substantial increases in anti-Semitic incidents (up 113% in the Midwest in 2017 compared to 2016). We understand from our Jewish brothers and sisters in Central Indiana that the Jewish community feels itself on-edge today in a way they have not in generations. This should alarm us all.
“Centuries-old forms of Jew-hatred are finding 21st-century outlets and are not being adequately recognized or condemned forcefully enough. Reasons for this include a larger breakdown of norms of civil discourse and new social media technologies that widely disseminate messages of hatred and amplify them to a deafening level.
History has proven that when anti-Semitism is given any sanctuary, it spreads with devastating consequences, not just for Jews, but for all peoples.”
The statement added ” This is a call to action for all of us, particularly parents and grandparents, to openly discuss the current rise of religious and ethnic hatred in our world.
We must challenge ourselves to stand up and speak out anytime hatred or bigotry is in our midst. We call on everyone to take the time to get to know their neighbors before the next expression of hatred and cruelty.
One excellent opportunity is Thursday, August 9 when Rabbi Brett Krichiver will be speaking at The Dwelling Place Church at 6:30 pm to share his perspective on living in a truly pluralistic society.
Or come to Indiana Interchurch Center on Tuesday, August 7 at 6:00 pm to hear Catholic scholar and Indianapolis native, Jordan Denari Duffner, talk about her new book “Finding Jesus Among Muslims”
USA Vice President Mike Pence is among several Indiana politicians who have condemned the incident.
Mike Pence has been quoted as saying ” Sickened and appalled by the cowardly act of vandalism at Congregation Shaarey Tefilla; a beautiful synagogue in Carmel, Indiana where I have many good friends. Those responsible must be held accountable. These vile acts of anti-Semitism must end.”