The recent string of attacks on members of the Jewish community in New York and New Jersey are more than disturbing. They call us to act. The alarming rise of anti-Semitism in this country and other parts of the world is completely unacceptable. Too often we feel helpless about the hatred, violence and injustices we see. In fact, the opposite should be true. We are obliged to speak out against hate speech and bigotry at every opportunity. Among friends, at work, in school, and at houses of worship, we must be vigilant in challenging anti-Semitic language and innuendo.
It’s essential that you are clear about what you want to say. You should rehearse. Talk to friends and colleagues about how we can effectively challenge hate speech in social and professional settings. Seek out resources and encourage others to participate in programs that inform, struggle with, and celebrate our diversity.
“All faith traditions embrace the idea of peace,” said David Shaheed, Center for Interfaith Cooperation’s board chair. “None of us can be at peace if members of other faiths are living in fear of threats and attacks.”
As we enter a new decade, let’s all commit to more actively combat the rise of anti-Semitism. We at the Center for Interfaith Cooperation encourage everyone to make a New Year’s resolution to be a better advocate in turning the tide on indifference and in speaking out for better understanding by embracing our differences.
On behalf of the Center for Interfaith Cooperation’s board of directors