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Feb 22, 2017 | Kevin Thompson

Houston Faith Leaders Join With Anti-Defamation League To Condemn Anti-Semitic Threats

The measure is "how a community responds"

Leaders from a diverse array of faith communities across Houston gathered today at the offices of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to decry the recent wave of anti-Semitic threats and violence. The show of faith solidarity was in direct response to bomb threats received at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center in Houston on February 20. Additional incidents and threats have been markedly up in recent months, including the vandalism of the Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery in a St. Louis suburb, this week. 

“No parent anywhere should be worrying about this in America in 2017,” said Dayan Gross, ADL Regional Director. “Hate crimes can take place anywhere. The measure of a community is not whether they occur, but how a community responds.” 

The Rev. Genevieve T. Razim, canon for welcome and evangelism at Christ Church Cathedral, Houston, represented the Diocese of Texas at the event. "It is the community that makes community," said Razim. "Today we saw the incarnated reality that exists across this great city every day: brothers and sisters of all faiths standing in solidarity to condemn hatred and violence and to proclaim the dignity of every human being as a child of God."

The interfaith representatives gathered at the press conference to stand in solidarity, denouncing anti-Semitism and violence of any kind. “When the world is a dangerous place for any of us, then the world is a dangerous place for all of us,” said Bishop James Dixon of the Kingdom Builders Global Fellowship. “Therefore, it behooves us to seek peace together.”

President of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, M.J. Khan, read a letter of solidarity from the Muslim community stating: “An attack on a person of Jewish faith is an attack on all of us.”

According to the Jewish Community Center Association, dozens of JCCs around the country received bomb threats across a three-day period in January.  The New York headquarters of the ADL received a bomb threat Wednesday morning, February 22, to which its CEO Jonathan Greenblatt responded.  “It will not deter us in our efforts to combat anti-Semitism and hate against people of all races and religions,” he said.