Statement of our Common Ground

We, the Summit Interfaith Council (The Interfaith) of Summit, NJ, state unequivocally that we affirm community safety and trust, the equal treatment of all of our citizens as well as the stranger among us. We denounce the rhetoric of bigotry and hatred. We call upon our elected and appointed leaders to uphold the principles of justice, fairness and equality for all. We denounce racial bias and discrimination, anti-Semitism, anti-immigrant activity, Islamophobia, hate speech, hate crimes, homophobia as well as disrespect and unequal treatment for women and people with disabilities. We call upon our elected and appointed leaders to serve all Americans, uniting our deeply divided country. We call upon our elected and appointed leaders to create jobs with livable wages and to improve the quality of life for Americans trapped in poverty. We call upon our elected and appointed leaders to renounce the language of racism, sexism, bigotry and xenophobia.  We further call upon our elected and appointed leaders to condemn groups that spread such hate.

One of the key beliefs of the Interfaith is the biblical injunction to love the stranger. In the tradition of the prophets and apostles, God calls on the faithful to speak truth to power, liberate the oppressed, care for the poor and comfort the afflicted. We are responsible to a higher calling, a higher law that takes precedent over the flawed and outdated immigration laws.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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About Rabbi Avi Friedman

I am the rabbi of Congregation Ohr Shalom - SJCC, a progressive Conservative and traditional congregation. I am also husband to Jodi as well as father to Gabi, Jonah, Jessica and Ilana. I have been a part of the Summit community since 2005.
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