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Boca Raton News

ARTICLE

Date ArticleType
4/5/2017 General
Boca Raton Rabbi Partners with Local Leaders & Advocates


The Boca Raton Interfaith Clergy Association, a group that provides for dialogue and learning among and between clergy and representatives of all faiths, hosted a “United We Serve” event on Thursday, March 30, at the Islamic Center of Boca Raton. The event provided activities for children, food packaging for the hungry, and an Interfaith Town Hall Meeting. Area religious leaders including Rabbi David Steinhardt took part in a discussion addressing topics such as the ban on muslims in the United States, and hate crimes that continue to plague our country and others, and what we need to do to change the thinking and values that have lead us here.

Attorney and civil rights advocate, Khurrum Wahid, opened the meeting to approximately 40-50 attendees by re-visiting the January 27 executive order deployed by the current administration to limit the number of refugees coming into the United States from 110,000 to 50,000. “Since it takes years to be in the pipeline, fifty thousand refugees have already applied to enter the U.S., so essentially no more may enter according to this new ban,” explained Wahid.

Nationwide protests of muslim solidarity are, and have been emerging across the nation, and other minorities are being affected such as the Jewish population. What began as a muslim issue is now showing potential to be an American issue. “The sense that other minorities are now thinking what happened to the muslims could happen to us, is spreading. We have a responsibility to remind people of our commonality
as human beings,” stated Rabbi David Steinhardt of B’nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton. “ The America we believe in is an America that would not do to minorities such as muslims, what is being done now. We are a country that protects religious civil liberties, Steinhardt added.

Steinhardt’s train of thought was echoed throughout the meeting, by religious leaders and community supporters alike. “The value of human life is our common value, the tone is changing and we aren’t being silent anymore, we are here as Americans and as human beings,” added Rabbi Ed Bernstein. “This goes beyond being republican or democrat - our constitution is about the right to speak up. We need to invite people from other religions and congregations as Americans united as one nation.”

Organizations who co-sponsored this event included B’nai Torah Congregation, The Islamic Center of Boca Raton, Islamic Relief USA, Emerge USA, ICNA Relief, and St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church. For more information or to get involved, email annie@icbr.org.