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Letter to the Editor: An interfaith statement

To our shared and cherished community:

We offer together the following statement as an invitation to join us in our shared goal of inspiring respectful and compassionate dialogue that recognizes, but ultimately transcends our differences.

We know that recent events have caused deep pain in our community, as well as for the two of us. Those who experienced the viewing of the film at UUCM as an act of anti-Semitism, whether directly or as an unintended result are in pain. Those who experienced the charges of anti-Semitism as an assault on their faith are also in pain. Yet, even in the midst of hurt, together we find hope.

While we are not in agreement on the appropriateness of screening the controversial film, we nonetheless still carry tremendous respect for one another and for our communities of faith. We have sat thoughtfully and prayerfully together, and shared honestly what is in our own minds and hearts. We write this letter with regret for the anguish experienced by us all; for the extreme behaviors in the attacks against UUCM, and in the increase in anti-Semitic expressions both here in our community and beyond. We especially regret the resulting schism leaving neighbors on one side or another.

Yet, we are heartened by our own conversation and by conversations we know are occurring throughout the community. We believe that our collective community is one that has much to learn and we know that we are stronger when we are able to grow together.

As we move forward, we imagine a strengthened bond of respectful inquiry, and increased opportunities for engaging the most complex and challenging issues of our day. We invite you all to join along with us as we move through a time of healing and shared growth.

Faithfully yours,

Rev. Dr. Wendy von Courter
Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead

Rabbi David J. Meyer
Temple Emanu-El, Marblehead 

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