Expressing Sadness, Solidarity After Shootings of Muslims and Christians

Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey is shocked and appalled by the hate-filled terror attacks targeting Muslims in New Zealand and Christians in Nigeria.  

“We extend our deepest condolences to the families of the 50 victims in New Zealand, the hundreds of victims in Nigeria, and to our dear friends and colleagues who are part of the worldwide Muslim and Christian families in the heart of NJ.” said Susan Antman, Executive Director.

The Jewish community knows all too well the price of terrorism, racism and hatred. No person should ever have to fear attending a sacred place of worship, going about their daily business, or simply being or belonging to a particular faith or heritage. The xenophobia that led to this unspeakable bloodshed must be condemned in no uncertain terms. We cannot let it continue to violate the moral and ethical core of our society. 

Rabbi Marc Kline of Monmouth ReformTemple, Tinton Falls, who chairs Federation’s interfaith initiatives, said after the New Zealand shootings, “We join in one voice to categorically condemn the destruction brought by taking the lives of Muslims praying in Christchurch, New Zealand. The mass shooting is an offense to everything and everyone we hold sacred.”

Rabbi Eli Garfinkel of Temple Beth El in Somerset, who is also Vice President of Franklin Township Interfaith Council, and Alex Kharazi, Ph.D, President of the Franklin Township Interfaith Council, Federation invited the entire community to show its solidarity and support at a prayer vigil Saturday evening, March 16. 

Hundreds of people gathered with fellow Franklin neighbors for a vigil in memory of the victims of terrorism in New Zealand where, at that time, 49 men, women and children were killed praying in two mosques. The toll subsequently increased to 50. 

The vigil was held at Temple Beth El, Somerset, to bring the community together as one voice to categorically condemn all form of hate and bigotry.

"Today we are sick. Our hearts ache," Rabbi Garfinkel said. "Let's come together and use this gathering to show solidarity and reaffirm our commitment to promote unity and understanding among all people and do our part to immunize our community from any form of hate and bigotry!" 

On behalf of Rabbi David Vaisberg of Temple Emanu-El, Edison, who also represents The Metuchen Edison area Interfaith Clergy Association and The Rabbinical Association of the Heart of New Jersey for Monmouth and Greater Middlesex counties, Federation also share the following invitation:

The community is invited to show solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters Friday, March 22 at 1PM and continuing weekly, for Rings of Peace at the following locations:

  • Muslim Center of New Jersey, Fords - 15 South 2nd St, Fords 
  • Muslim Center of Middlesex County - 1000 Hoes Ln, Piscataway 
  • New Brunswick Islamic Center - 1330 Livingston Ave, Unit 4, North Brunswick



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