November 1, 2019 — Cincinnati, Ohio
Last year, on October 27, we witnessed unspeakable horror at the three congregations within the Tree of Life building in Pittsburgh. The cold-blooded murder of 11 innocent Jews at prayer represented the worst of humanity. The following weekend, we saw the best. Millions of people of all faiths rallied around American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) #ShowUpForShabbat initiative, packing synagogues around the globe in what became the largest-ever expression of solidarity with the American Jewish community. This year, more than 300 synagogues participated in AJC’s #ShowUpForShabbat, a reprise of the initiative first launched hours after the Tree of Life massacre.
“The horrendous attacks on Jews, amidst a rise in antisemitic incidents across the United States, challenge our sense of Jewish security,” said AJC Cincinnati Regional Director Cathy Heldman. “But the widespread empathy, demonstrated in the mass participation in #ShowUpForShabbat, and continuing joint efforts to combat hatred of Jews, is inspiring and reassuring.”
More than 60 mayors and municipal leaders from across Ohio joined the AJC Cincinnati and AJC Cleveland regional offices to honor the memory of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting victims and to raise their collective voice to fight for a world free of antisemitism, hate, and bigotry. Together, they will help spread the word and affirm their commitment to oppose prejudice and discrimination.
“In the year since the Pittsburgh tragedy, we have seen a significant increase in antisemitic acts and rhetoric” said AJC Cleveland Regional Director Lee C. Shapiro. “These acts threaten not only Jews, but our American values and society in general. Today, Mayors from across the state honor the memory of the victims, reaffirm their commitment to fight against antisemitism, and say that hate has no place in our state.”
The AJC Cincinnati and AJC Cleveland #ShowUpForShabbat initiative was part of a global effort by American Jewish Committee, a leading global advocacy organization, to fill synagogues in a demonstration of solidarity and unity against antisemitism and hate and to dedicate Sunday, October 27 as a Day of Action Against Antisemitism. Representatives from AJC’s 22 regional offices across the United States reached out to their clergy, diplomats, local government officials, and other community leaders to encourage them to participate in the #ShowUpForShabbat campaign, while the organization’s 12 international offices worked with partners in over 37 Jewish communities around the globe to launch similar initiatives.
Israeli Deputy Consul General Israel Nitzan said, “We have been following with great concern the spike in antisemitism incidents,” in the U.S., and around the world. Speaking of the “Jewish notion of communal responsibility,” Nitzan said, “we are one people, one nation,” and together will confront antisemitism.
In addition to the Ohio Mayors and municipal leaders, the governors of Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Virginia issued proclamations, as well as the mayors of Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., and other elected officials. View the full list at ajc.org/national-day-of-action-against-antisemitism.