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Morgan Hill
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March 4, 2021

Letter to the editor: Hate will not daunt us

As many community members know, Congregation Emeth was recently vandalized with antisemitic graffiti. This was an upsetting discovery, but we were able to remove the physical marks immediately after reporting it to the police. We also reported the hate crime to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a leading anti-hate organization that tracks incidents like this across the nation. We shared the news with our congregation and local clergy leaders but did not intend to amplify it.

When the police report was published last week, we were touched by the outpouring of support from neighbors, friends and strangers. Many have shared social media posts, called us, or sent emails, texts and letters to the synagogue. We have received an outpouring of loving kindness and a strong showing of solidarity and shared outrage.

We are taught “to love your neighbor as yourself.” This verse from Leviticus 19:18 is a vital, enduring lesson for all of us. We love ourselves by loving our neighbors. The safety and support that we want for ourselves we also want for our neighbors. In the aftermath of this unfortunate incident, Congregation Emeth is grateful to feel the warm and loving embrace of our neighbors.

We in turn are here for each of you to support you in times of challenge and to celebrate with you in times of joy.

We are sad this happened, and we recognize that it reflects larger national trends that we need to be vigilant about. Our community will not be daunted by acts of antisemitism and we will continue to proudly be a beacon of Judaism in our community. We also know that we are not the only group or individuals singled out and we stand together with so many others to combat all forms of hate, racism, prejudice and ignorance.

Congregation Emeth of Morgan Hill was founded over 40 years ago in Gilroy as the Jewish Community of South County. We are grateful to be a part of the wonderful South Valley community. 

Thank you to the Morgan Hill Police Department for their prompt response and ongoing communication. Thank you to the Interfaith Community of South County and Interfaith Clergy Alliance for their ongoing support and friendship. Thank you to everyone in our community who has joined together to say love is stronger than hate.

President Michael Oshan, Rabbi Faith Joy Dantowitz and board of directors

Congregation Emeth, Morgan Hill

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