Portrait: Sarah Weiss

Guest Blogger Sarah Weiss,
Executive Director, the Center for Holocaust Humanity Education

As we found ourselves full of hope with the start of the New Year, that hope was shattered for some on Tue.  Jan. 3 when news broke that a swastika was found on the sign of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s Clifton campus. The news spread like wildfire, via social media and the news media.

Fortunately, the actual swastika was removed promptly and there was no indication that this carried a larger threat. We are grateful for the swift and serious response of the Cincinnati Police Department.

At the same time, this act struck a nerve that would make it seem this incident was anything but minor. The swastika carries a painful past that symbolizes hate, dehumanization, destruction, and loss. Its placement on the sign of a sacred institution that has played a critical role in the Cincinnati community and in shaping Judaism in America only elevated the significance of this hateful act.

Despite the incident, one thing that we can draw inspiration from is the outpouring of support that came from near and far.

The reaction from the Cincinnati community and beyond has been incredible. Below you will see a selection of the many messages of support from elected officials, major community organizations, and interfaith leaders from near and far. So while this incident may have broken our hope, the response should mend it.

I thank all those who were and are standing in solidarity with HUC-JIR. Today it is the Jewish community, tomorrow it may be another and we need to stand up for all those impacted by hate. If we do this, we can all hold onto our hope.

>>> Click here to read more and the numerous letters of support by interfaith and civic leaders.

I thank all those who were and are standing in solidarity with HUC-JIR. Today it is the Jewish community, tomorrow it may be another and we need to stand up for all those impacted by hate. If we do this, we can all hold onto our hope.


 

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