A Message from IFYC
On Saturday morning, a hate-filled gunman entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA and killed eleven people as they celebrated Shabbat. Many others were gravely wounded, including four police officers. Since then, this act of anti-Semitic terrorism has been described as the worst attack on the Jewish community in U.S. history.
Elsewhere in America this weekend, two African-Americans were killed merely for the color of their skin after a failed church shooting in Kentucky, and a Florida man sat in custody accused of sending at least thirty-one bombs to people with whom he disagreed politically.
IFYC extends our deepest sympathy to those people and communities devastated by these recent acts. We stand with them in solidarity and in grief.
Terrorism, racism, and anti-Semitism are outrageous. Yet they persist today in 2018. What is to be done? Who will do it?
- To those who want to do something: this is a time for interfaith leaders to act.
- Interfaith leaders see the other side, defending The Other and standing up to ensure their safety and right to thrive.
- Interfaith leaders work to educate others about the inspiring aspects of different faiths and worldviews.
- Interfaith leaders convene those in their communities, finding shared values and common concerns as a basis for working together.
- Interfaith leaders build and strengthen relationships across the kinds of lines that others refuse to cross through dialogue, service, and, sometimes, by sharing in others’ grief or fear.
- Interfaith leaders build where others destroy. Today, we ask you to practice your interfaith leadership wherever you are. To help you, we’ve compiled a list of resources from IFYC and other organizations committed to pluralism to kickstart your outreach, guide your conversations and activities, and help you educate yourself, your friends, and your neighbors.
In the coming days and weeks, we hope you will join us and others across the U.S. in acts of interfaith leadership big or small.
Perhaps, as you face these challenges, you might contemplate this passage from the Jewish Mishnah:
“It is not your responsibility to finish the work, but neither are you free to refrain from it.” -Pirkei Avot
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