Special Message

Remarks from Rabbi Devorah on 06 SEP 2023, at a press conference held at Temple Emanu-El regarding the rise in antisemitic flyering around San Diego:

There is an ancient piece of Jewish wisdom that teaches “Gam zeh l’tov…” meaning, this too will be for goodness.  If ever a moment demonstrates this wisdom this is it.  Out of this rise of antisemitism, we are witnessing truly beautiful things – the affirmation of the commitment of our community to be kind, loving, and caring neighbors to one another; the commitment of our elected officials to work to make our community’s laws ever better at holding evil-doers accountable for their actions because accountability matters; the building of relationships across divides as we come together to make our world a safer place.  None of these things were intended by the perpetrators of these harms, but they are the outcomes – we are making the world a better place, with acts of love and kindness, and with building ever stronger and better relationships with one another.

As I stand today, shoulder to shoulder with friends and colleagues from our local community and organizations, including our dear friends who were able to join us today, Rabbi Mathew Marko of Tifereth Israel Synagogue, and Reverend Rebecca Hensen of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, and Pastor Darren Johnson of the Lutheran Center of San Diego State University, I am inspired by the power of community.  Although the flyers were filled with lies, hatred, and a truly bizarre mishmash of conflicting hate ideologies, there is actually one of which I’m proud.  Although it’s not true, it accuses, I would say praises, the Jewish community, as the founders of LGBTQ+ movement.  While it IS true that Jewish people have been involved from the start, we cannot and will not ever take credit for the generations of LGBTQ+ people who have protested, fought, and laid down their lives for their right to live in dignity, safety, and equality.  I bring this up today to underscore that those who seek to bring terror and harm to the Jewish community seek the same for our friends and neighbors who are LGBTQ+,  who are of African heritage, American indigenous heritage, Mexican and Central American heritage, Middle-Eastern heritage, Asian and Pacific Islander heritage, basically, everyone who is not of their definition of acceptable European heritage decent.  They do not represent our community, or our values.  They do not represent what this nation stands for or represents in its highest ideals and aspirations.  Our broad community of unity and mutual support, care, concern, love, and protection is what we value and what we are about.

The Jewish community is thankful for the support, friendship, and partnership of our many neighbors and friends who have stood with us time and again in the face of blind hatred aimed at our people. San Diego has a long and rich history of being a multicultural city of diversity and we celebrate the beauty of our diversity with all of our neighbors. We want to thank our neighbor and friend, Councilmember Campillo, for focusing on action that will hold the peddlers of hate and incitement accountable for their actions and dissemination of libelous slander that leads directly to violence and death.

Thank you Councilmember Campillo for joining with us, our community, and our community partners, the Jewish Federation of San Diego, the Anti- Defamation League of San Diego, and the American Jewish Committee to help keep us and all of San Diego’s rich and diverse community safer. May we ever work together to build a world of accountability, safety, kindness, and love.


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