November 1, 2018 — New York
American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) #ShowUpForShabbat initiative is gathering widespread support across the United States and around the world. The initiative was launched on Sunday, the day after the murderous attack on the Tree of Life Or L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh.
“The rapid, continually growing response to #ShowUpForShabbat is heartwarming. It restores hope in the human capacity to unite in confronting anti-Semitism and attacks on houses of worship,” said AJC CEO David Harris. “Clearly, the Pittsburgh attack, the murder of 11 Jews in their synagogue, unleashed a strong revulsion and a desire to come together as Americans and reaffirm our core values.”
On Sunday, AJC called on Jewish communities across the country—along with elected officials, religious and civic leaders, diplomats, and other communal allies—to flock to synagogues this coming Shabbat (Friday night and Saturday morning, November 2-3).
The outpouring of support for #ShowUpForShabbat and pledges to participate by attending services at synagogues is broad and diverse. The New York Times, CNN, USA Today and other national and local media have featured the AJC initiative.
“Our #ShowUpForShabbat initiative has taken off like wildfire, reaching many millions through AJC Twitter, Facebook and Instagram,” said Harris. “The response has been overwhelming. Diplomats from many countries, leaders of Christian, Muslim, Sikh and other faith communities, journalist Arianna Huffington, actors Jeremy Pivin and Mayim Bialik, Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Patrick Leahy, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, among many others, have endorsed the initiative."
“We are not alone,” said Harris, who praised the many thousands of people who already have declared that they will be attending Shabbat services this weekend. As an example, a European ambassador will be joining Harris and his family at synagogue, and expressing his solidarity from the podium.
Representatives of AJC’s 22 offices across the United States have reached out to communal partners and local government officials to ask them to participate in the #ShowUpForShabbat campaign. Simultaneously, AJC’s 11 international offices are working with partners in over 35 Jewish communities around the globe to launch similar initiatives locally.
“The community of conscience must stand as one, whether in the face of the hate-motivated attack against a black church in Charleston, which took nine lives, or a synagogue in Pittsburgh, which took 11 lives,” said Harris. “We are determined to ensure that love triumphs over hate, good over evil, unity over division. That’s our America.”