San Diego Jewish community rallies against hate – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Posted By on August 16, 2017

Leaders of San Diego's Jewish community on Tuesday night condemned white supremacists and hatred in response to the deadly violence that broke out during a rally by neo-Nazis and other extremist groups in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.

Speaking in front of hundreds of people during a forum at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, local rabbis and others evoked the horrors of the Holocaust to underscore the importance of speaking out against hate.

I personally know what it is like to be discriminated against, Holocaust survivor Franny Lebovits told the crowd. But to remember is not enough, the 94-year-old Lebovits said.

She and other Holocaust survivors in attendance were welcomed with a standing ovation.

Were sad that theyre here under these circumstances, but were honored that theyre here with us, said Tammy Gillies, director of the local chapter of the Anti-Defamation League.

Rabbi Yael Ridberg of Congregation Dor Hadash said her message was one that was simultaneously ancient and urgent.

We must not be tolerant of intolerance," she said. "We cannot turn a blind eye to what is in plain sight. We, Jews, we remember the cost of silence.

Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, also addressed the crowd, echoing statements he made Sunday evening at a unity vigil in front of the County Administration Center.

The Greatest Generation did not fight Nazis so Nazis could walk around empowered, he said to applause. And yet, the violence in Charlottesville is a reminder that hatred exits and Americas democracy is under attack, Peters said.

"Don't lose heart, he told the crowd. "The struggle is not over, but were making progress, and were going to win.

Rabbi Nadav Caine of Ner Tamid Synagogue led a prayer in honor of Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman killed when a car mowed down a group of counter protesters in Charlottesville on Saturday. The suspected driver, James Alex Fields, 20, has been charged with second-degree murder in Heyers death.

The event at the Jewish center in University City was organized by the Anti-Defamation League, the San Diego Rabbinic Association and the Leichtag Foundation, an Encinitas-based Jewish organization.

Email: david.hernandez@sduniontribune.com

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San Diego Jewish community rallies against hate - The San Diego Union-Tribune

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