Dear Friends,

Together with you, we are deeply troubled by the events in Charlottesville this weekend and mourn the loss of innocent lives due to the violence. Our prayers are with the individuals wounded in the car attack and we hope they find healing and comfort in the days ahead.

Our Torah teaches in the book of Leviticus, “love your neighbor as yourself”. Rabbi Hillel, when asked to summarize all the teachings of the Torah while standing on one foot, shared this one commandment, stating that the rest is commentary. In response to the hate witnessed this weekend, we reaffirm the importance of embracing this commandment to the fullest extent–going out of our way to love each other, know each other and value the unique gifts that everyone brings into this world. People of all races, religions, nationalities, and sexual orientation are key elements that make our community special and we will not be convinced otherwise.

In the days ahead, it is our responsibility to come together-with the Jewish community, and with our neighbors and friends–to show that compassion and love are stronger than hate. Together we can stand up to white supremacy and neo-Nazism. As a JCRC are committed to continuing our work toward a more just and equitable society in which we can all live peacefully together.

Our Jewish Federation released the following statement yesterday:

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia condemns the hate and violence displayed this weekend at the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA. Anti-Semitic, racist and xenophobic views have no home in a country that prides itself on justice, liberty and freedom for all. We mourn the loss of Heather Heyer who passed away in the horrific car attack and pray for the recovery of the 19 other men and women injured in this act of domestic terrorism. As a community, we pray for peace, calmness and safety in the days and weeks ahead.

Additional articles of interest:
‘Jews will not replace us’: Why white supremacists go after Jews
Hate in Charlottesville: The day the Nazi called me Shlomo