Letter: Clergy stands with Jewish ‘siblings’ against hate

We as the Kingston Interfaith Council are deeply saddened and concerned by the vicious attacks on Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg and the Hasidic community on Saturday evening, Dec. 28, 2019 in Monsey, N.Y. during their Hanukkah celebration.

We condemn this Anti-Semitic act. All members of the Kingston Interfaith Council unreservedly stand in solidarity with our Jewish siblings here in Kingston and Ulster County.

This is not an isolated event, but part of an ever-increasing rise of anti-Semitic hate crimes locally, nationally, and globally. These attacks, fueled by an environment of national and political division, add to a culture of fear, worry, and distrust, especially within religious and racially marginalized communities.


We know all too well that anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and acts of religious violence intersect with other systemic forces of hate — racism, xenophobia, economic oppression, persecution because of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, age or ability, and seek to dismantle our free and democratic society. These hate-filled acts warrant an even more love-filled and intersectional response.

As we mourn with the Jewish families across the nation, and with all communities who feel threatened, we call upon our political leaders and local community to come together in solidarity, denounce all acts of hate, and promote a more just society. 

The Kingston Interfaith Council
Vicar Suzanne Campise, MDiv.,
Candidate for Ministry in the ELCA
The Rev. Michelle Meech,
Rector, St. John’s Episcopal Church
The Rev. Dr. Leonisa Ardizzone,
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills
Father Frank Alagna,
Holy Cross/Santa Cruz Episcopal Church
The Rev. Dr. Gregory Simpson,
Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church
Laila Brady Walzer, M. Div.,
Woodstock Sufi Center
The Rev. Dr. Clinton Bennett,
Pastoral Leadership Team at Clinton Avenue UMC
Rabbi Yael Romer, DD,
Congregation Emanuel of the Hudson Valley
Cantor Bob Cohen,
Congregational Emanuel of the Hudson Valley
The Rev. Dr. Joy Reed MacVane,
Clinton Avenue United Methodist Church
The Rev. Dr. Robert Milsom,
St. James United Methodist Church
Imam Syed Khalid Khan,
Muslim Association of Ulster County
The Rev. Susan Auchincloss,
St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church
The Rev. Dr. Faye Banks Taylor,
St. Mark’s AME Church
The Rev. G. Modele Clarke, D.Min.,
New Progressive Baptist Church
The Rev. Deacon Susan Bonsteel,
St. John’s Episcopal Church
The Rev. James Childs,
Pointe of Praise Family Life Center
The Rev. Kendra VanHouten,
Fair Street Reformed Church
The Rev. Thomas E. Taylor,
Redeemer Lutheran Church
Vicar Scott Harvey, Redeemer Lutheran Church
Deacon James Fiorio,
Chaplain, Ulster County Sheriff Office
Julia Fitzgerald, Interfaith Minister
The Rev. Alison Quin
The Rev. Luis Perez
The Rev. Renee House,
Old Dutch Reformed Church
Deacon Elke Hekler, Redeemer Lutheran Church