As the umbrella organization for over 60 major Jewish communal organizations in New York, which advocates for the interests of the local Jewish community, it is our responsibility to take a stance alongside our non-Jewish allies opposing the largest public white supremacist gathering in decades (“After Charlottesville, Jews Move From Angst To Action,” Aug. 25).

From Charlottesville, we heard the chanting of Nazi slogans combined with the horrifying images of torches and the subsequent violence and murder of Heather Heyer. This was very reminiscent to many in the Jewish community of Kristallnacht. Furthermore, this was a major opportunity for the broad spectrum of the Jewish community to come together and speak in a unified voice against history taking steps toward repeating itself alongside other minority communities, which were affected by that vile demonstration. There was no hesitation when asked to sign, and many were enthusiastic about this and asked if they could sign on.

On August 15th, JCRC-NY produced a Call to Action for Charlottesville called “New Yorkers United Against Hate,” in order to unite Jewish and non-Jewish leaders from the diverse political, religious, and ethnic community leadership of New York against “the xenophobic, prejudiced ideology ascribed to by white supremacists, white nationalists, the Ku Klux Klan, and neo-Nazi groups” in America. 

Together, with more than 200 major leaders, and in full partnership with UJA-Federation of New York, we stated that “We will not allow the revival of the racist, anti-Semitic creeds of the past, which aim to tear at the fabric of our society,” to reemerge and called upon New Yorkers to “speak out forcefully and denounce hate in all of its manifestations.”

JCRC-NY will continue to mobilize and unite communities against the scourge of racism and anti-Semitism and purge it from our society through building bridges and coalition building.

Charles S. Temel, President, Jewish Community Relations Council of New York

Michael S. Miller, Executive Vice President and CEO, Jewish Community Relations Council of New York

Editor’s Note: The statement was signed by representatives from JCRC-NY, UJA-Federation of New York, Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, many other Jewish and non-Jewish organizations, and more than 40 political leaders.