A diverse and growing coalition of New York City religious clergy and faith organizations called people of faith to gather, in the face of the emboldened racism and resurgence of anti-Semitism in America, for “Yes to Love, No to Hate” Interfaith Solidarity, Hope and Action, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, at the Fourth Universalist Society, 160 Central Park West.
Organizers Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann (Society for the Advancement of Judaism), the Rev. Dr. Nigel Pearce (Grace Congregational Church), Rabbi Shuli Passow (B’nai Jeshurun), Rabbi Joy Levitt (JCC Manhattan) and the Rev. Shuyler Vogel (Fourth Universalist Society) see this event as the spark to empower faith communities to take part in ongoing action to dismantle white supremacy in New York and around the country.
Soon after the plans were announced, interested co-sponsors began to pour in from all over the city. More than 60 organizations signed on to be part of the evening’s program, which featured music from different religions, as well as speakers Imam Shamsi Ali, the Rev. Brian Gibbs-Ellis, Rabbi Roly Matalon and the Rev. Chloe Breyer, who emceed the program.
Despite the diverse landscape of religion, race and ethnicity represented by the sponsors, the communities of faith share a common set of values and morals:
• The belief that all people are created equal in the image of God. All God’s children are worthy of love, respect, safety and security.
• Rejection of white supremacy, in all of its forms, and commitment to standing up for the rights and safety of people of color, Jews, Muslims, immigrants and LGBTQ individuals.
• Commitment to action, however small or large, that will reach across political, religious, denominational and racial divides in spreading understanding, acceptance, respect and love.
• The understanding that though the communities and individuals may not agree on everything—from tactic to policies—they share a vision of a future in which we are all free to live without fear and to live up to our God given potential.