The artwork on this note card was featured on the cover of the 5776/2015-16 WRJ Art Calendar, created by Helaine Bach for the WRJ/NFTY Art Contest.
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Washington, D.C., July 30, 2015 – In response to the stabbing of six people at the Jerusalem Pride Parade earlier today, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement:
We are horrified and saddened by the stabbing of six people at today’s Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade. Even more chilling is the news that the assailant was previously convicted of committing the same crime a decade ago. Participants in the Gay Pride Parade, a celebration of love and liberty, should never need to worry about being victims of a hate crime. Our sympathies and prayers are with those attacked, and we stand in solidarity with all in the Israeli LGBT community. We call on Israeli law enforcement to ensure the perpetrator is never again allowed to cause harm and on policymakers to combat the troubling persistence of hate crimes.
UPDATE 08/03/2015: We learned on August 2 that one of the victims of the attack, Shira Banki, a 16 year-old girl from Jerusalem, passed away. In response, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner offered the following words: Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Shira Banki, for whom we wish strength and resolve in the midst of such tragedy. Shira’s murder makes it all the more important that Israel takes real steps to combat hate crimes. May Shira’s memory be for a blessing.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose nearly 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.