Miami can be a model of peace, acceptance

08/08/2014 6:00 PM

08/08/2014 3:43 PM

As people of diverse faiths who are members of organizations committed to fostering dialogue and understanding within our community, we are deeply concerned and outraged about the defacing of Congregation Torah V’Emunah in North Miami Beach and the vandalism directed at an identifiable Jewish family’s cars in Miami Beach. Sadly, this is not the first time that visible expressions of faith have come under attack; we recall similar desecration of a local mosque in the recent past.

Despite our own varying opinions, passionate emotions and political views about what is taking place today in Israel and Gaza, and other countries in the Middle East, we nonetheless feel that this is the time for people of good will everywhere to work together for peace and tranquility. That begins by first steps right here at home; an attack on any individual or institution based upon their belief or religion is an attack upon all of us. We deplore these cowardly acts in our community and call upon the appropriate authorities to pursue these as “hate crimes” and to prosecute the culprits to the full extent of the law.

Let us here in Miami model for the world how people of many faiths can live in harmony with one another, respecting our differences and standing united to fight hate or bigotry wherever it is found.

Michelle Ramirez Patricios, chair, Roberta Shevin, executive director, MCCJ

Khalid Mirza, president, Shabbir Motorwala, director, COSMOS,

Andrew C. Hall, president, Brian D. Siegal, director, Miami Regional Office, American Jewish Committee

Shelley Niceley Groff, chair, Carol Brick-Turin, director, Jewish Community Relations Council of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation

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