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Greater Miami Jewish Federation

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The events in Charlottesville and the overall
dramatic rise in public expressions of hatred call on
all of us to take a stand against hate and bigotry.

We at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, the Jewish Federation of Broward County, the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County and our Jewish Community Relations Councils, Anti-Defamation League and our community partners join our neighbors and people around the country in horror and grief, outrage and condemnation at the hate-filled white nationalist rally that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia. The racism and anti-Semitism on proud display at one of the largest such gatherings in decades has provided vivid testament that this challenge to our nation is one we must not ignore.

We know all too well the depths at which intolerance and extremism meet. In our South Florida community, home to one of the world’s largest populations of Holocaust survivors, the graphic Charlottesville images of Nazi flags, symbols worn by people in camouflage carrying semi-automatic weapons, making Nazi salutes, and chanting slogans also strike a special dagger among those whose minority backgrounds continue to make them prey for bigotry, marginalization and violence.

While Charlottesville may have dominated the news and our psyches, it is part of an alarming, ongoing increase in expressions and acts of hatred. Extremists are becoming increasingly emboldened, on the internet and on the ground, as their numbers and their public platforms rise.

Hatred toward any of us is an affront to all of us.

The safety and security of our neighbors and our country depend on our ability to confront the current threats. Our history tells us how critical it is for leaders and people of goodwill to speak out in fierce condemnation of such evil and to call for unity in its face. Today’s hatred, bigotry and divisiveness will not go away unless we work together to make that happen.

“When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy… Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe.” - Elie Wiesel

We take heart in the quick responses from so many who vary by background, political and religious affiliation and much more, who are coming together to speak out against hate. But more is needed to rise to this critical challenge of our time.

Hatred toward any group demands a response from everyone.

We call upon everyone in our community to stand up and speak out with and on behalf of those most vulnerable to hatred. We must express our support to those most affected by bigotry and hatred, and never allow hate to keep them from fully participating in their community. And we must teach and learn history’s lessons of the Holocaust, slavery and other atrocities.

Standing united as a community, while building tolerance and civility with diverse partners, we can act on our treasured American values of democracy and pluralism to eschew intimidation, violence and divisiveness. We must strive toward building a society in which our wondrous diversity is a source of strength and enrichment, so together we can thrive in peace and security.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”-Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Mission of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation is to mobilize human and financial resources to care for those in need, strengthen
Jewish life and advance the unity, values and shared purpose of the Jewish people in Miami, in Israel and around the world.

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