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Rings of Peace: Response to the attack on the Muslim Community of Christchurch, New Zealand

Fear, prejudice, and hatred have once again shaken our world with the deplorable attack last night on the Muslim Community of Christchurch, New Zealand. We Jews know from recent events and ages past what it is to be the target of such hate-fueled violence. We also very well know the impact outreach from our greater community can have during these frightening times.
We are blessed here in Middlesex County to have numerous close relationships among our diverse neighbors. In trying times, we have called upon each other and have been there for each other, in solidarity, in aide, and in friendship.
Just today, my friend Imam Farhan Siddiqi of the Muslim Center of New Jersey Fords asked me join his community for their Friday midday prayers, and what I encountered was a beautiful and welcoming community, much like ours, shaken, in shock, and grateful for all the community outreach. I know that our thoughts and prayers for our Muslim brothers and sisters are appreciated. Let us go beyond thoughts and prayers however and turn to presence and action. 

Our action will be the following:
Starting next Friday, and continuing as long as we need to, we (the larger interfaith community) will gather at local Mosques and form, hand-in-hand, rings of peace around the mosques as our neighbors gather for their Friday afternoon prayers. We will show up. We will be present. We will state with our hands and our feet, with our mouths and our hearts, that we people of all religious backgrounds and ethnicities, have the right to gather, learn, and pray, in dignity and safety.

May God bless us all in our sacred work of coming together, and may God bless us all with peace.


Wed, May 27 2020 4 Sivan 5780