Back in August, I issued a few statements on behalf of Jewish Federation. Trying to be as inclusive as possible, one of the statements read, “We oppose anti-Semitism.” I still think that it is a pretty good statement.
Issuing statements and opposing anti-Semitism are relatively easy. How we combat anti-Semitism and protect ourselves from it are the much bigger challenges.
Our approach is three pronged:
1. We work closely with all levels of law enforcement – local, state, and national – and serve as the liaison with every local Jewish institution. Yesterday, for example, we met with our friend from the NYS Counter Terrorism Intelligence Unit to update each other on any threats or concerns.
2. We partner with other faith groups in our community. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks wrote, “the hate that begins with Jews never ends with Jews.” We learn from each other during good times and stand together in solidarity during challenging ones. This Sunday, for example, we are co-sponsoring with the Capital District Board of Rabbis and Schenectady Clergy Against Hate an interfaith vigil: United Together in Faith Against Hate and Intolerance. The vigil will be hosted by Congregation Gates of Heaven and starts at 7:00 p.m.
3. We educate. We are proud that we have ADL World of Difference in our area schools and 89 No Place for Hate schools in our region. People are taught to hate. We can teach people not to hate.
Like you, we are concerned about the increased rhetoric and violence we see in the world around us and work diligently to keep us safe.
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