Letter: Love Thy Neighbor

We are the leaders of congregations and communities of faith in Northern Westchester and Putnam counties. We are keenly aware that as a result of recent actions and statements by the federal government, there are communities and groups of our neighbors who are fearful of what may become of them and their families.

We are not political organizations, but we must practice what we preach! In keeping with our beliefs and traditions, it is our duty and our joy to stand with our neighbors who are experiencing distress and anxiety because of their religion, their race, their ethnicity or their immigration status. No matter someone’s status, we believe we are all children of God. They are, therefore, all our brothers and sisters and we care what happens to them.

So long as vulnerable communities in our midst are singled out and threatened, we know that none of us are really safe. We, who have been blessed with the privilege of freedom and citizenship in this great land, recognize that these blessings come with the responsibility to fulfill the biblical commandment that we “love thy neighbor as thyself.” Therefore, we have united together, in faith, to offer our support, assistance, love and respect to those in our community who need it now.

In keeping with our own deep-seated beliefs, we pledge to offer whatever lawful aid and assistance we can to our neighbors who are in distress. We will draw upon the talents and skills of our membership to provide support to them. We can do no less.

Additional clergy and leaders are welcome to join our alliance by contacting any of us.

The Rev. Jessica Anschutz, Open Doors Community Parish, Putnam Valley
Rabbi Steven Altaresu, Reform Temple of Putnam Valley
Rabbi Laurie Levy, Reform Temple of Putnam Valley
Stephen Axinn, Religious Leader, Temple Israel of Putnam Valley
The Reverend Gene Ott, United Methodist Church, Yorktown
Rabbi Jennifer Jaech, Temple Israel of Northern Westchester
The Reverend David Collins, NOW Cooperative Parish, Carmel and Mahopac
The Reverend Claire Woodley, St. Mary’s, Mohegan
Rabbi Halina Rubenstein, Hebrew Congregation of Somers
Rabbi Robert Weiner, Temple Beth Am, Yorktown
Cantor Jamie Tortorello-Allen, Temple Beth Am, Yorktown
Pastor Romana Abelova, NOW United Methodist Churches, Purdys
The Reverend Betsy Ott, NY/CT District Supp’t, Annual Conference, United Methodist Church
Abbot Paul Tesshim Silverman, Tetsuguiji Zen Temple
Rabbi Dana Z. Bogatz, First Hebrew Congregation, Peekskill
The Reverend Dr. Arden Strasser, St Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Yorktown
Rabbi Seth Sternstein, Yorktown Jewish Center
The Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi, President, Buddhist Association of the U.S.

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