The Archdiocese of Philadelphia shared a joint letter April 2 signed by the co-conveners of the Religious Leaders Council and Interfaith Philadelphia concerning anti-Semitic vandalism that took place March 30 at Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El in Wynnewood, Montgomery County. The letter, issued to Rabbi Witkovsky and leadership of Beth Hillel-Beth El, expresses solidarity with members of the Jewish community.


Dear Rabbi Witkovsky, Rabbi Cooper, Cantor Rosner, President and Leadership of Beth-Hillel, Beth El:

We are appalled by the heinous image of the swastika painted on the “Our Community Stands With Israel” sign in front of your building. We lament the impact on you personally and on the members of Congregation Beth Hillel-Beth El.

We reach out to express our solidarity, understanding that such incidents have reverberations far beyond the direct victims, rippling out in the form of fear and vulnerability across the Jewish community and its institutions.

Any time that sacred space is violated is intolerable. Any time that one of us is targeted, we are all violated. We are moved by your public expression of gratitude for the responsiveness of law enforcement and the interfaith community, teaching from the Talmud that “anyone who is distressed together with the community will merit seeing the consolation of the community.” We too resist succumbing to despair in these moments.

On behalf of the Board and Staff of Interfaith Philadelphia and the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia, we reach out to let you know we are dedicated to continuing efforts to bring the people of our region together to ignite the best of what our faith communities stand for, and to stand with our neighbors when we fall short. Some of us will be with you this evening as you gather at 7 p.m. and others will join to pray with you for Kaballat Shabbat.

In prayerful solidarity,

Interfaith Philadelphia Leadership

Imam Quaiser Abdullah, Board Chair

Rev. Joyce Shin, Vice Chair

Abby Stamelman Hocky, Executive Director

Rev. Edward Livingston, Director of Religious Community Initiatives

Co-Conveners, Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia

Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez, D.D, Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Bishop Daniel G. P. Gutiérrez, The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania

Rabbi David Straus, Jewish Community Relations Council

Imam Anwar Muhaimin, Masjid Quba