Today we learned that hundreds of graves were desecrated in Mt Carmel Cemetery in Philadelphia. This follows a similar act of desecration last week on an historic Jewish Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri. Sadly, these are not isolated incidents, but follow an ever-increasing pattern of threats and vandalism all over the country. Dozens of JCCs have received threatening phone calls. The Glacier Jewish Community in Whitefish, Montana has been threatened by a local white supremacist group. At the beginning of January of this year, a swastika was painted on the sign of Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. A few weeks ago, a rock was hurled through the window of the Tacony Synagogue in Northeast Philadelphia – twice.Windows were broken and swastikas spray-painted on the door of a synagogue in Chicago at the beginning of this month.
Moreover, attacks against Mosques and Islamic Centers in the United States have increased by a whopping 67% since 2015. Muslims have been physically harassed and attacked. A Muslim cleric and his assistant were shot and killed in New York City last August. Shall I continue?
We must stand together and voice our opposition to all these acts of violence and hatred, whether they are perpetrated against Muslims, Jews, members of the LGBTQ community, or any other minority or vulnerable population.
If you want to get more involved, if you want to do something positive to make our world a more just and merciful – and safe – place, join our new CKS Social Action Group. You can learn more about our new Interfaith initiative and other teams working on refugee, immigrant, and environmental issues in my March newsletter article. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on our mailing list. And check out our CKS Social Action Group Facebook page.
Now is not the time to remain silent. Now is the time to make our voices heard and take action.
Chazak, chazak, v’nitchazek/Let us go from strength to strength and be strengthened.