Dear Members of the Congregation Kol Yehoudah,
On behalf of the United Church of Canada, in the Conseil régional Nakonha:ka Regional council, and through the support of its Justice and Community Leadership Team, we are reaching out to you after hearing of the vandalism done to your synagogue in recent weeks.
We wish to express our deep sadness upon hearing of this. Even though it is possible that your worship site was not specifically targeted as such, any vandalism of any worship site is an attack on all communities of faith and places of spiritual practice. We condemn any destruction of any worship site and the many important elements that are therein contained that facilitate our worship. We hope that those responsible will be apprehended and be offered the opportunity to make amends for their actions and deepen their understanding of the harms they have caused.
Through the centuries, the Christian Communities have not been faithful “spiritual cousins” to Jewish communities around the world. The United Church of Canada recognizes this, and makes substantial efforts to promote awareness of our history, and to stand firmly as a partner in addressing anti-Semitism in all its forms. While we cannot undo the wrongs of past history, we are enlightened by them and are moved to build new bridges of understanding and collaboration moving forward. We hope that our reaching out to your community in this time will be received and seen as a gesture in this spirit.
Please be assured of our prayers and our solidarity as your community moves through this experience. As the descendants of Sarah and Abraham, we all share profound roots in spiritual practice, and we stand by your side in this time. We live in an era where spiritual practice is seen through a prejudicial lens. Please know that you are not alone. Your “cousins” stand with you. We, too, have seen 3 of our own churches recently vandalized because of their efforts to love and support ALL of G-d’s children. So, we share the pain of this experience with you as well.
Should there be a way in which we can be of further support, and should you wish to be in contact with us to further a dialogue, please do not hesitate to reach us at your convenience.
Wishing you the Shalom of The Most Holy,
Rev. Rosemary Lambie, Executive Minister, Conseil régional Nakonha:ka Regional Council
Rev. Shaun Fryday, Chair, Justice & Communites Leadership Team