Twenty-two mayors from New Jersey have signed on to American Jewish Committee’s Mayors United Against Anti-Semitism initiative.
The mayors — from Newark, Elizabeth, Princeton, Englewood, Tenafly, Fort Lee, Ridgewood, Livingston, Summit, Marlboro, Roxbury, West Orange, Highland Park, Plainsboro, East Windsor, West Windsor, Woodcliff Lake, Hope Township, Atlantic City, Cape May, Margate, and Cherry Hill — join more than 180 others from 34 states and the District of Columbia in calling on their European counterparts to publicly address and take concrete actions against rising anti-Semitism.
A statement issued by AJC calls upon “mayors, municipal leaders, and other officials in Europe to join us in affirming that anti-Semitism is not compatible with fundamental democratic values.” The statement emphasizes that “in a world of global communications, where anti-Semitic ideas can and do spread quickly, the impact of the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe does not stop at Europe’s borders.”
In New Jersey, West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi said, “Anti-Semitism has been an underlying story throughout history; that is very sad, and every community in every nation needs to take the responsibility for ending such hatred. We can all, one by one, work with our neighbors to create communities that are welcoming of all people, from all faiths and backgrounds, and eliminate hatred and prejudice in every corner of the world. Like all important movements throughout history…it happens one person at a time.”
“Successful communities, large or small, are made up of people from all races, ethnicities, and faiths living together,” said Mayor Timothy McDonough of Hope Township, where, he said, “we believe the best place to teach awareness and tolerance starts with our children. Ten years ago we started the Eighth Grade Mayors Book Club with a focus on learning about the Jewish faith and customs. We also included a visit to the Holocaust museum on the annual trip to Washington, DC.”
AJC regional offices across the country are gathering signatures through the end of August. The final statement with all of the signatories will be published in the fall and will be distributed to AJC’s diplomatic and legislative contacts.