Following the recent events of vandalism at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in St. Louis, and the bomb threats to Jewish Community Centers across the country, the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council (GKCIC) would like to remind citizens of the greater Kansas City area that we stand in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters during these difficult times. We are deeply disturbed and can’t imagine the pain the families and community are experiencing by these violent acts.
We believe these types of events are an attack against all faith traditions and life philosophies, and the values we hold dear. When we see violence or attempts to discriminate against whole groups of people based on faith, life philosophy, race, national origin or ethnicity, we are called to remain steadfast in expanding our awareness of the spiritual values of ANY faith tradition. We know it is these values that can help us resolve issues and challenges occurring in every area of our lives and communities.
Sheila Sonnenschein, Director-at-Large for GKCIC says, “The desecration of a Jewish cemetery where loved ones are buried and bomb threats to Jewish institutions is appalling and does not reflect American values. It is heartwarming to see the outpouring of love and support from the Muslim and other faith communities who are banding together to raise money and help fix this cemetery, a sacred place for the Jewish community. These acts of support are American, religious and moral.”
When confronted with senseless and vicious acts we can become overwhelmed by confusion, grief and anger, yet this is the time of year for celebration and commemoration in many faiths, a time when communities look to the renewal of spring as a message of hope. In that energy of hope, appreciation and inclusion, the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council is offering prayers for peace, healing and understanding.
Today, we invite you to join the GKCIC in focusing your words, thoughts and deeds on promoting peace, inclusion and acceptance. We honor the rich diversity of culture and religions that enhance our lives, and we speak with one voice of peace and respect for all.