Christian leaders in South Florida issued a statement where they condemn the recent wave of anti-Semitic incidents in Miami-Dade County and express their support and solidarity with the local Jewish community.
In the statement, the Evangelical leaders, including pastors and representatives of local Christian organizations, expressed their outrage and concern with these recent incidents and pledge to make its members aware of the dangers of anti-Semitism and embolden them to stand against it wherever and whenever it arises. They also pledge to pray for the security and safety of all Jewish individuals and institutions in the face of increased anti-Semitism here and abroad. They also implore people of all faiths to join with them in the fight against anti-Semitism, to expose any of its adherents and to help rid the world of this curse for the sake of all humanity. The recent local incidents include anti-Semitic vandalism consisting of swastikas and hate symbols at synagogues in Miami-Dade County and even on the back wall of a Publix supermarket in Surfside. There was also the shooting death of Rabbi Joseph Raksin of Brooklyn while he was walking to a synagogue in North Miami Beach.
"It's important to educate the Evangelical community of what is going on in our mandate to stand with Israel and with the Jewish community," said Pastor Mario Bramnick, president of the Broward Pastors Network and regional vice president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
Bramnick mentioned the campaign, "Take a Stand against anti-Semitism," where the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, in partnership with the Broward Pastors Network, urge churches and ministries in South Florida to take a stand against rising anti-Semitism and to encourage their members to bless and stand in solidarity with the Jewish people on Sundays during the High Holidays.
"One of the tragedies that happened in Europe during the time of the Holocaust was that the church in general remained silent about the anti-Semitism that was happening in their own backyards and one of the things that's very important is that we can no longer be silent, whether Christian or Jewish, when anti-Semitism rises, whether on a local basis or a governmental basis," Bramnick said.
Jennarie Joseph, co-director, along with Arlen Hill, for Prayer House of the Palm Beaches who also contributed to the statement, said "A general objective is to bring awareness to our community that anti-Semitism exists and it's getting worse, not better, and for pastors and ministry leaders to be aware and to educate their congregations on the importance of supporting Israel and our Jewish brother and sisters across South Florida."
Local Jewish leaders appreciate the Christian community's concern.
"I think this is a tremendous expression of solidarity and really helps the Jewish community to feel that we are not alone," said Eric Stillman, president and chief executive officer of the Jewish Federation of Broward County
Stillman added, "The timing is especially meaningful because the Christian community knows that the High Holidays are a period of such significance to the Jewish community."
Carol Brick-Turin, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, said the community applauded the Evangelical leaders' statement as well as other local interfaith efforts.
"In the wake of a recent series of deeply disturbing anti-Semitic attacks here and abroad, our Miami-Dade Jewish community greatly appreciates the concern and outrage voiced over these attacks by clergy and leadership of diverse faiths and backgrounds," she said.