Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford Condemns Charlottesville Violence

The Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford unequivocally condemns the violence at Saturday's rally and counter-protest in Charlottesville, Virginia. The racism, anti-Semitism and hate that motivated the "Unite the Right" rally are antithetical to the values of equality and inclusion that we embrace as Americans and as Jews. We mourn the deaths of peaceful counter-protestor Heather Heyer and Virginia State Policemen Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Berke M. M. Bates, and we pray for those who were injured.
 
Let there be no doubt that so-called white nationalism is inextricably intertwined with anti-Semitism. The organizer and many of the most prominent attendees of Saturday's "Unite the Right" rally are known anti-Semites. Jason Kessler, the organizer of the rally, founded the nativist and white nationalist group Unity & Security for America, which referred to Charlottesville as a "Cultural Marxist hell" - a thinly veiled reference to Jews, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
 
KKK leader David Duke and Mike Enoch, founder of The Right Stuff website, told reporters they shouted "The goyim know" in Charlottesville, referring to an anti-Semitic trope about Jews trying to keep non-Jews "in the dark" about their plans.
 
And The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website used to publicize the Unite the Right rally, has an entire section devoted to "The Jewish Problem." It has since vowed to hold more events similar to the Charlottesville rally. "We are going to go huge," says the website.
 
It is incumbent upon our community to stand against hatred in both words and actions. In the words of Elie Wiesel, "We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." Our Federation and its community relations arm, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Hartford, are committed to working toward peace and tolerance and fighting hatred and bigotry in all its forms.
 
Eric M. Zachs
Chair, Board of Directors
Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford
 
Howard Sovronsky
President and CEO
Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford
 
Avrum H. Blitzer, M.D.
Chair
Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Hartford
 
Laura Zimmerman
Director
Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Hartford