NP-BH Interfaith Statement on Islamophobia

Since there are no synagogues in New Providence or Berkeley Heights, the Jews who live in those communities typically affiliate with congregations in Summit.  So, the rabbis from Summit have gotten involved in the New Providence-Berkeley Heights Interfaith Council.  This week, the council issued the following statement on Islamophobia:

The New Providence-Berkeley Heights Interfaith Council  is an interfaith group of religious leaders, jointly representing the diverse religious congregations in these two towns. We are committed to dialogue and understanding in our communities.

In the aftermath of hateful and divisive actions, we want to express our support for our Muslim neighbors. We stand in solidarity with the Muslim community and will actively counter any disrespect, discrimination, or vandalism of worship space, businesses, schools, or homes.

We seek to honor and respect the dignity of every human being, believing that each person is God’s creation. The ethical teachings of our religious heritages are incompatible with any actions or words that injure another human being for his/her religion, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical/mental disabilities, or economic status.

Our nation was established by individuals seeking religious freedom and tolerance.  As the heirs to those brave souls, it is incumbent upon us to offer the same religious freedom and tolerance to all who seek it, no matter how they choose to worship.


Azra Abdulla – Islamic Center of Basking Ridge

Oosman Abdulla  – Islamic Center of Basking Ridge

M.A. Chaudry  – Islamic Center of Basking Ridge & Center for Understanding Islam

Rabbi Avi Friedman  –  Summit Jewish Community Center

Rev. Margaret Hodgkins  – St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, New Providence

Rev. James R. Krombholz – Faith Lutheran Church, New Providence

Rev. Murdoch MacPherson – Faith Lutheran Church, New Providence

Rev. William Mahon  – Our Lady of Peace Roman Catholic Church, New Providence

Harbhajan S. Nayar  – Garden State Sikh Association

Rev. Andrew Prachar  – Church of the Little Flower, Roman Catholic, Berkeley Heights

Rabbi Amy Joy Small  – Congregation Beth Hatikvah, Summit

Rev. Charles Wagner  –  New Providence United Methodist Church


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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