Religions and Spirituality

New Jersey Mayors Sign onto Anti-Semitism Initiative

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AJC NJ Area director John Rosen, Essex County Freeholder Patricia Sebold, Livingston Mayor Michael Silverman, and AJC NJ Legislative Advocacy Committee cochair Arthur Dubroff. Credits: New Jersey Jewish News
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LIVINGSTON, NJ — Livingston Mayor Michael Silverman was among the 22 mayors from New Jersey who signed on to the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Mayors United Against Anti-Semitism initiative. The AJC called upon mayors, municipal leaders and other officials from the United States and the District of Columbia to publicly address and take concrete actions against rising anti-Semitism and received more than 180 signatures from 34 states and D.C.

Alongside Silverman were New Jersey mayors from West Orange, Newark, Elizabeth, Princeton, Englewood, Tenafly, Fort Lee, Ridgewood, Summit, Marlboro, Roxbury, Highland Park, Plainsboro, East Windsor, West Windsor, Woodcliff Lake, Hope Township, Atlantic City, Cape May, Margate and Cherry Hill joined AJC in affirming that anti-Semitism is “not compatible with fundamental democratic values.” According to a statement issued by AJC, the initiative calls on the United States’ European counterparts to publicly address and take concrete actions against rising anti-Semitism.

“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,” the statement emphasized.

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According to AJC, the final statement with signatures from all parties will be published in the fall and will be distributed to AJC’s diplomatic and legislative contacts. Silverman, who joined many other local mayors as well as AJC NJ Area Director John Rosen, Essex County Freeholder Patricia Sebold and AJC NJ Legislature Advocacy Committee Co-chair Arthur Dubroff at Livingston Town Hall for the signing, expressed the significance of getting authoritative figures behind this cause.

“All public officials should support anti-Semitism the same way as they should support the inclusion of all people in all activities,” said Silverman. “There should be no discrimination. We talk about living in the greatest country in the world where all people are created equal, but it should not have anything to do with race, creed, religion, or any other factors.”

West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi also agreed, stating that every community in every nation needs to take the responsibility for ending the underlying hatred that has been seen throughout history. Those who signed the initiative believe that working with neighboring communities will create atmospheres that are welcoming of all faiths and backgrounds and eliminate prejudices.

According to Silverman, the Livingston community, though a small one, is a successful one because it is made up of people from all races, religious faiths and ethnicities, who tolerate and respect each other on a daily basis.

“We are a melting pot: Livingston has Jews, Italians, Hindus, Catholics, Chinese, Japanese, so many different ethnic backgrounds making up Livingston,” said Silverman. “And that’s one of the things that makes Livingston great.”

In order to live in a world where all men are created equal, Silverman believes in teaching and practicing the tolerance and awareness that this initiative addresses. AJC regional offices across the country recently completed gathering signatures and will publish the final statement in the coming weeks.

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