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