Rodeph Shalom Statement to Speak Out Against Hate and Object to the Appointment of Steve Bannon

November 16, 2016
     We the clergy and president of Congregation Rodeph Shalom raise our voices in concern for the hateful rhetoric that has become a part of our nation’s recent discourse. As faith leaders we affirm the equality of all human beings, and speaking to the importance of this moment in our history, we recall the teaching from our tradition: “The first person was created alone for the sake of peace among people, so that no one could say to another, ‘My ancestor was greater than yours’” (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5).
     We object to the appointment of Steve Bannon as chief strategist to the President-Elect. We echo the statement of the Anti-Defamation League: “It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the Alt Right, a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists – is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house.'”
     We call upon leaders of the next administration to speak out against the acts of hate we have seen in our Philadelphia community, including anti-semitic graffiti and messages of hate directed at students of color.
     We promise to continue to make our voices heard if other groups are targeted with hateful rhetoric for their religion, their race, their gender, their sexuality, their disability, or their country of origin.
     We urge all who wish to speak out against hate to contact your government representatives, and urge all those who wish to act to promote love of their fellow human beings to join us in mitzvah opportunities to come. Our tradition instructs us how to follow paths of righteousness, and we will continue to listen and respond.