I am very concerned about the rise of anti-Semitism in our country including all of the major news stories related to anti-Semitic statements made by public officials. I am against all forms of hate speech and I know that many of you are as well. Any verbal attack against any ethnic, religious or racial group in this country is wrong and goes against so many of our ideals as a nation. To me, to be a Jew in America today means that I need to speak out against all acts of hatred and I expect my friends and colleagues to do so when the attacks are against us, the Jewish people.
In recent years, there has been a tremendous rise in the number of anti-Semitic acts in America. The constant news stories about these hateful words only help to make anti-Semitism more normal for young people today and our children deserve better.In reality, most young people today are much more tolerant than those of my generation and older. I wish the children of today could teach their parents and grandparents a few lessons.
This week we all learned about the anti-Semitic statements made in Washington DC. I am not coming down on either side of the political debate that took place but I do want to share a video of one of the speeches made on the floor of the House by a proud Jewish member of Congress from Florida, Rep. Ted Deutch. I have known Rep. Deutch since we were teenagers together at Camp Ramah in the Poconos in the early 1980's. Ted was always very proud of his Jewish identity and often speaks about the core Jewish values he learned at home, in his synagogue and at Camp Ramah, that serve as the foundation of the work he does now serving the 22nd District in Florida. I have seen Ted over the past few years when I go to Washington DC for the Annual AIPAC Policy Conference.
Yesterday may have been Rep. Deutch's greatest moment in Congress as he spoke out against the anti-Semitism that was witnessed in Washington this week. Here is the video link to his speech.
|3.9.19 Rep. Deutch House Floor Speech on Anti-Semitism
When I see Ted in a few weeks in Washington, I will thank him for these powerful words.
Rabbi Adam Feldman