Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

JCRC expresses support to local Muslim community


Ina Porth

Hate crimes targeting Muslim Americans and mosques across the United States tripled in the month after the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif. In light of this sobering development, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando voted to express solidarity with those who repudiate hateful interpretations of Islam. In letters sent to local Islamic leaders this month, the Federation and JCRC stated the following:

"We write today to share with you our empathy and support during a time when the Muslim community is facing ever-increasing bigotry and discrimination. Respect for the diversity of religions is at the very core of our national identity and is vital for our democracy to thrive. It is among our most cherished values as Americans. It is among our most cherished values as Jews. As Jews, we know all too well what can happen when a particular religious group is singled out for stereotyping and scapegoating. It is imperative that we protect ourselves, but we must do so without sacrificing the fundamental principles of freedom and liberty. We stand with all those who unequivocally condemn and reject hateful interpretations of Islam. And we stand with you as partners in God's holy work of healing the world."

Ina Porth, chairwoman of the JCRC, said, "We need to know our neighbors, not fear them. And as Jews, we hold a responsibility to ensure that no group is singled out for hate. JCRC is actively exploring ways to co-create more programming with the Islamic community to promote understanding and dialogue."


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