WASHINGTON - In response to the tragic murder of 49 worshippers at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the wider Reform Movement institutions:
“The massacre in Christchurch pierces our hearts to the very core. To murder people in the midst of worship is the epitome of evil. As we mourn this senseless loss of life, we hold our Muslim family in our hearts and commit to stand with them during this painful time – including by visibly and vocally showing up in solidarity.
“This violence against minority communities, fueled by anti-Muslim and white supremacist rhetoric, is not new. This horrendous attack on a place of worship represents the darkest forces of humanity, which have been emboldened by a global rise of a grotesque ideology demonizing those who are different.
“In Ecclesiastes, we are taught: ‘if one attacks, two can stand up to him. A threefold cord is not readily broken!’ (4:12). Liberation from the plague of bigotry will require moral people of all faiths, races, and cultures to bind together against hateful forces that seek to sow division. We must say, with one voice, that white supremacy, xenophobia, and bigotry have no place in society.”
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.