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The Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater is heartbroken and outraged by the violent, racist, anti-Semitic and hate-filled “Unite the Right” rally by white nationalist groups in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend. We join with our many national partner organizations who have already condemned both the violence perpetrated and the message of racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobic views we have heard in the past few days.

We appreciate the responses from many elected officials on both sides of the aisle, across the Commonwealth and the country, who have unequivocally condemned the white supremacists and their hatred, bigotry, and violence.  

Our national network, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, which represents more than 125 Community Relations Councils like ours, works tirelessly to build tolerance, civility, and maintain friendships with diverse partners across the country.  We join with the JCPA in calling on all people of goodwill to come together in confronting hate and bigotry in all its forms.

“In moments like these, it’s critical that our political leaders speak in a clear voice opposing hatred," stated Jewish Council for Public Affairs Board Chair Cheryl Fishbein. “What our leaders do and say sets the parameters for the rest of the society."

We mourn the loss of the lives of Heather Heyer and Virginia State Troopers H. Jay Cullen and Berke Bates.  We pray for those injured on Saturday.  

We offer the following suggestions as to how we might move forward, provided by some of our most trusted resources:  

•    Anti-Defamation League offers Lessons to Teach and Learn from 'Unite the Right' for those teachers and young people preparing to return to school.

•    Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities offers a list of Ten Things You Can Do to Stand Together, reminding us all, that together we can prove with one voice and with a sustained effort that there is no place for hate in Virginia.

•    Southern Poverty Law Center offers Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide, setting out ten principles, along with a collection of inspiring stories of people who worked to push hate out of their communities.

We believe that we must continue to work toward a more just and equitable society in which we can all live together. These values are what make America the great country that it is today.
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