Statement on Antisemitic Crimes

When, not long ago, we at The Jewish Theological Seminary publicly condemned crimes of violence against Americans of Asian heritage, we noted that as a Jewish institution of higher learning, we are well aware of the terror that bias crimes inflict on members of minority groups. Little did we expect that a short while later we would be raising our voice again, this time to condemn a spate of brutal acts against our own brothers and sisters in the Jewish community. What is happening to Jews in North America shares much with other hate crimes perpetrated in our society. But it also is the latest manifestation of a centuries-long phenomenon of hatred and violence against Jews that has infected so many lands on this earth. These antisemitic outrages cut to our very heart, even as they tear at the fabric of the society that we all share. But they do not lessen our resolve to defend our Jewish family, and to work for a tolerant and humane society.

It should go without saying that there is no justification in the world for attacking innocent people, or for instilling fear in the hearts of those who wonder whether they may be the next to be assaulted. We call on law enforcement agencies everywhere to use all of their powers to identify, apprehend, and bring to justice those who are committing these antisemitic acts. And as we express gratitude to those of other faiths and backgrounds who stand in solidarity with us, we once again sound the alarm at the prejudices that still thrive in North America. We have a solemn obligation to do all that is in our power to make our co-religionists, and all other vulnerable people, feel safe in their countries.

We pray that a spirit of love and compassion be awakened within all with whom we share our lands. May justice and security swiftly come for our closest Jewish kin, and for all who today are made to live in fear.