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Posted on: June 3, 2021

Township Statement on Antisemitism

WO-Antisemitism

Dear West Orange Residents,

๐—ช๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ต ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ:  Antisemitism in all its forms is anathema to our beliefs and the values of our town.

One of the greatest strengths of the Town of West Orange is our diversity and our commitment to creating an inclusive township that celebrates, values and affirms our rich diversity. When acts of hatred, bigotry or bias occur, we understand that it is an affront to everything we stand for. 

In the month of May, 2021, there was a terrible and sudden increase in Antisemitic violence in America. Jews and Jewish institutions in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere in our country suffered from violence, vandalism and hate. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the FBI and NYPD have opened investigations into more than two dozen new Antisemitic hate crimes in NY alone. We know that the FBI Uniform Crime Report in 2019 documented that over 60 percent of anti-religious hate crimes in America were committed against Jews.  

The US State Department defines Antisemitism as any words and actions which blame Jews as a people or group for being generally responsible for real or perceived ills in society or the world, noting that it often employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits. 

At our next Town Council meeting we will raise a formal proclamation in this regard.  In the meantime, we ask all of our citizens to join us in the following assertions.

• We condemn Antisemitism in all its forms, without exception; and,

• We call for all local, state and federal authorities to investigate and prosecute all criminal instances of Antisemitism whenever they occur; and, 

• We encourage our leaders, educators, community organizations, houses of worship and all citizens to work to understand and oppose Antisemitism; and

• We remain forever committed to being a peaceful and vibrant community, where all forms of diversity are embraced as a strength.

As we continue to confront the realities of everyday injustice impacted by members of the Jewish community and other marginalized groups, let us continue to come together as a community to support, and affirm those impacted by oppression. To that end, The West Orange Human Relations Commission can be a resource to you in town. To learn more visit http://westorange.org/wohrc

Sincerely,

Mayor Robert Parisi
Council President Cindy Matute-Brown
Councilwoman Sue McCartney
Councilwoman Michelle Casalino
Councilman Bill Rutherford
Councilwoman Tammy Williams
Human Relations Commission Chairperson Dr. David Jones
Human Relations Commission

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