UUA Responds to Events at Congregation Beth Israel

The following is a press release from the Unitarian Universalist Association.

The Unitarian Universalist faith calls us to respond to the horrific and profoundly disturbing hostage situation that took place earlier this week at the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas.

We send our love, prayers, and care to all those violated by the events at the Beth Israel synagogue. We grieve for those impacted by the armed individual who threatened the lives of the rabbi, congregants, and community in Colleyville.

As a faith community, we express our solidarity with the Jewish community, including those within Unitarian Universalism, who are feeling especially vulnerable at this moment. We also join our voices with those of all faiths who are condemning both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

In the wake of this violence, we urge people to unequivocally denounce anti-Semitism. Across our country, we witness a devastating rise in anti-Semitism alongside other forms of religious and ethnic bigotry and hate. This rise has been evident in incidents of tragic violence in so many faith communities.

“Transgressions of violence are especially disturbing when done in our sacred places of worship and peace,” said UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray. “Our healing wishes go out to all people injured and harmed by this incident.”

We offer deep care to the Jewish community impacted by the violence in Colleyville. This is a time to lift up and strengthen the life giving power of community, as demonstrated by the rabbis, imams and leaders of other faiths who came together to demonstrate their unity. Anti-Semitism is a form of virulent hate that Unitarian Universalists work to dismantle through public witness, education, intolerance of prejudice, and a deep commitment to interfaith solidarity.

Today, we reaffirm our commitment to religious freedom and to a world where all people can feel safe and thrive. We celebrate the beauty of religious pluralism in our society and continue to seek the day when we all might worship safely in peace and belonging. We also express gratitude for the outpouring of support and expressions of love from the Muslim community in support of the Beth Israel synagogue and community.

May Jewish people and all impacted faith communities feel especially held in tender love and care at this moment. We are in this struggle together.