November 4, 2021
The Central Conference of American Rabbis is dismayed by antisemitic incidents that have stricken Austin and San Antonio within the last two weeks. Reform rabbis were appalled by actions such as Holocaust deniers touting their lies outside the San Antonio Jewish Community Campus while a Holocaust symposium was taking place inside. The antisemitic outbreaks in these cities turned violent on Sunday, when an arsonist struck Congregation Beth Israel in Austin, a Reform synagogue served by CCAR members. We are only grateful that nobody was physically injured this time.
Antisemitism has reared its ugly head increasingly in recent years. In addition to the horrifying events in Texas, earlier this week at a fraternity at George Washington University, a Torah was desecrated and thrown on the ground. We risk becoming inured to these heinous events, and we note that the national press has largely ignored this unacceptable situation in South-Central Texas. Reform rabbis stand in solidarity with our CCAR colleagues in Austin and San Antonio, with the communities they serve, and with the broader Jewish communities there. We commend our colleagues for their appropriate response to each incident. We are grateful for cooperation exhibited across the Jewish communities in both cities and by the support those communities received from interfaith partners and local governments. The CCAR lauds the critical work of the Anti-Defamation League in response to these and other antisemitic outbreaks, and we praise the partnership between ADL and our Union for Reform Judaism.
Antisemitism should have no place in this world. The CCAR and its members will continue to raise our voices in opposition to white supremacy and antisemitism wherever they are found.
Rabbi Lewis Kamrass
Rabbi Hara E. Person
Central Conference of American Rabbis