From the Board of Rabbis of Greater Rhode Island and Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island:
The Rhode Island Jewish Community prays for the victims of last night’s horrific anti-Semitic attack in Monsey, NY, at a Hanukkah celebration — and for all of the victims of recent anti-Semitic attacks in the New York area this week. Hanukkah is the very celebration of human triumph over religious persecution and the spirit of this holiday inspires us to continue to stand against hatred and oppression.
Over the last year, we have witnessed an alarming rise of hate crimes and anti-Semitic attacks nationally, and we are grateful for the support we have received from local religious and community leaders, elected officials, and law enforcement.
We want to reassure the local Jewish community of our on-going efforts focused on security and the strong relationships we have forged with local law enforcement who continue to be exceptional and supportive partners.
Rhode Island was founded on religious tolerance. Now is the time for action to defend this core value, for Jews and for all Rhode Islanders, regardless of background or identity. Early in the New Year, we will host a convening of local and state leaders to develop clear action steps we can take to root out anti-Semitism and hate in our state. Together, we can ensure Rhode Island remains a place of religious tolerance.
The message of Hanukkah also reminds us to continue to radiate light, even during our people’s darkest moments. As we complete our celebration of Hanukkah may the Jewish values we cherish give us the courage to continue to cast light into dark places, bringing peace to our own community and to the world.
Although these attacks did not take place locally, if you or someone you know feels anxious about the current threats facing our Jewish community, we encourage you to reach out to our partners at Jewish Collaborative Services for additional support. They can be reached after 8:30am, Monday – Friday at (401) 331-1244.
Rabbi Sarah Mack
President, Board of Rabbis of Greater Rhode Island
Chair of the Board, Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island
President & CEO, Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island