STATEMENT OF THE COALITION OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS OF NEW JERSEY IN RESPONSE TO THE HATEFUL ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST THE JEWISH FAITH COMMUNITIES

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STATEMENT OF THE COALITION OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS OF NEW JERSEY
IN RESPONSE TO THE HATEFUL ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST THE
JEWISH FAITH COMMUNITIES

OCTOBER 28, 2018

At this tragic moment in time, an unconscionable act of hatred and evil against members of the Jewish Faith community, we as Religious leaders in the state of New Jersey wish to extend our heartfelt compassion and to stand in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters and the faith communities that they lead.

We strongly condemn the act of hatred that evoked this senseless act of violence. We are particularly mindful that such acts toward the Jewish community underscore a long and unfortunate prejudice against a people of great faith. This was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States. We too are mindful that incidents of anti-Semitism rose 57% in 2017, the largest single year increase on record, and here in New Jersey anti-Semitism incidents in 2017 increased 32%, New Jersey being the third highest in our nation of reported incidents in 2017.

We stand in solidarity with members of the Jewish faith communities, not only in this moment in time but in continuing to affirm that hate crimes toward our Jewish neighbors are hate crimes against all of humanity. We are committed to fight anti-Semitism and hateful rhetoric.

We call upon all people, especially our elected leaders, especially in this week before a national election, to tone down their divisive and hateful statements that create a tenor of fear and divisiveness in our nation. We further call upon all federal and state legislators to address the ongoing issue of gun violence, one common denominator in several recent acts of identity-based behavior. We call for stricter limits on gun possession safeguards, including limits on ammunition rounds, waiting periods, and assault rifle availability.

We call upon our faith communities that we represent to enter into sacred conversations with neighbors whose faith traditions are different than ours, yet ever so rich in seeking the Holy. We need to embrace our religious diversity and celebrate our differences. Hatred has no place anywhere and will not win out as we witness to our faith traditions that unite the human family.

We need to embrace our religious diversity, peacefully acknowledge our differences, and gratefully celebrate our unity.

Endorsers of the Statement in response to the hateful acts of violence against the Jewish Faith Communities by the Coalition of Religious Leaders of New Jersey

Rev. Darrell Armstrong
General Baptist Convention of New Jersey

Rev. Leslie Dobbs-Allsopp
Interim Executive of the Elizabeth Presbytery

V. Rev. Peter A. Baktis
Orthodox Church of America

Bishop Tracie Bartholomew
NJ Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Imam Qareeb Bashir
Islamic Council of Greater Trenton

Rev. Dr. Tanya Bennett
Chair Bd. of Church & Society Greater NJ Annual Conference UMC, Drew Theological School

Very Reverend Archimandrite Ambrose
Ecumenical Officer, Greek Metropolis of New Jersey

Rev. Charles Boyer
Pastor, Bethel AME Church of Woodbury

Deacon Patrick Brannigan
NJ Catholic Conference

Rev. Dr. Debra Brincivalli
Presbytery Executive
West Jersey Presbytery

M. Ali Chaudry, Ph.D.
Islamic Society of Basking Ridge

Imam Hamad Chebli
Islamic Center of Central NJ

The Most Reverend James F. Checchio
Bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen

Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale
Reform Church of America, Synod of New Jersey

Rev. Dr. Harold Delhagen
Presbyterian Synod of the Northeast

Joan M. Diefenbach, Esq.
Director, NJ Council of Churches

Rabbi Menashe East
Mount Freedom Jewish Center, Interfaith Council of Morris County

Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey

Rev. Dr. Elmo Familiaran
Interim Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of NJ

Rabbi Daniel Geretz
Maayan Shul

Rabbi Matthew Gewirtz
Congregation B’nai Jeshurun

Rabbi Arnold Gluck
Temple Beth El

Fr. Timoth Graff
Archdiocese of Newark

Rev. Derrick Green
Office of the Governor

Rev. Rob Gregson
Unitarian Universalist Faith Action

Bishop Carlye Hughes
Episcopal Diocese of Newark

Rev. Jack Johnson
Coordinator, Coalition of Religious Leaders

Rabbi David Levy
AJC-NJ Regional Director

Rev. Sara Lilja
Director of Lutheran Office of Governmental Ministries

Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley
General Secretary Emeritus, American Baptist Churches, USA

Rev. David Popham
Associate Conference Minister, Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ

Rev. Jeanne Radak
Presbytery Leader, Newton Presbytery

Rev. Louise Scott-Rountree
Clergy Affairs Manager, Office of the Mayor of Newark

Bishop John Schol
Greater NJ Conference of the United Methodist Church

Imam W. Deen Shareef
Convener of the Council of Imams in NJ. Resident Imam at Masjid Waarith ud Deen

Rabbi Alan Silverstein
Rabbinical Assembly

Dr. Surjeet Singh – Sri Guru Singh Sabha
Sikh Community

Rev. Barbara Smith
Executive Presbyter, Newark Presbytery

Bishop Anthony Steinbronn
NJ District, Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod

Bishop Dennis Sullivan
Diocese of Camden

Bishop William Stokes
Episcopal Diocese of NJ

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin
Archdiocese of Newark

Rev. Bob Tomlinson
New Brunswick Presbytery

Rev. Dr. Robert Wade
Presiding Elder of Camden-Trenton District AME

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