The following is a statement from Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington, in response to escalating threats against Jewish institutions throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.
“In the past 48 hours, at least ten synagogues and other Jewish institutions across the DMV received bomb threats and were subjected to other forms of harassment. Cries of ‘gas the Jews' are being directed toward our children and families. We are experiencing a stunning increase in antisemitic words and actions directed at local Jewish families and institutions.
The Jewish community will not stand for this, but we need others to also speak out and condemn these outrageous attacks. This is a time for leaders across the political spectrum and of different faiths throughout our communities to stand with us openly and loudly. We urge political officials in particular to not only condemn these threats unequivocally, but also build on recent infusions of security funding so that we can better protect our houses of worship.
The resilience of the Jewish people cannot and will not be diminished. We are proud of who we are. We will continue to support Israel as it seeks to permanently dismantle Hamas. And like generations of Jewish people before us, we will not let the forces of antisemitism prevent us from living proud and open Jewish lives.”