BJ RESPONDS
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Responding to Antisemitism

We strongly condemn the tragic spike in targeted, antisemitic incidents happening all across the world, including in our country and city, against individuals and Jewish institutions. For all our progress and integration as a people, this centuries, if not thousands-year-old, Jewish hatred is still alive and well in America and around our world. It is an unfortunate and troubling cycle: a global event or conflict gives a license to express deep, residual hatred and biases toward certain groups of people.

Jews do not represent the State of Israel or the Israeli government, yet many walking in public or dining in kosher restaurants have been targets of violent, hateful attacks as if they were responsible for the recent flareup of violence between Israel and Gaza.

Asian Americans, too, are being violently attacked in the city’s streets and on subway platforms as if they were responsible for COVID-19. The AAPI community did not cause the coronavirus. And Jews are not a conduit to express one’s frustrations with the actions of the State of Israel, whether we agree or disagree is irrelevant. The associations are dangerous and using the situation as cover for hateful attacks toward individual people and related institutions must be denounced.

As we mark a year since George Floyd’s death, we have seen the power of collective action toward a change we know we need, with a long road still ahead.

We pray for a world in which we can come together to work through the issues of our time without violence and hatred and recognizing that our common humanity matters more. We are fully committed to the love of humanity and of all human beings, and peace and security for all—not just our own.

J. Rolando Matalon

Written By J. Rolando Matalon

José Rolando Matalon, B’nai Jeshurun’s senior rabbi, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was educated in Buenos Aires, Montreal, Jerusalem, and New York City. After his ordination at the Jewis...

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Felicia L. Sol

Written By Felicia L. Sol

Rabbi Sol has served as a rabbi at BJ since 2001, becoming the first woman to serve as a rabbi to the community in the congregation’s almost 200-year history. In June 2021, she was appointed as a s...

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