A heartwarming side effect of President Donald Trump’s immigration ban and anti-Muslim rhetoric is the growing interfaith solidarity occurring between American Jews and Muslims.
On Monday night, a progressive group of New York City rabbis held a protest against the president’s ban outside of Trump International Hotel and Tower.
Several demonstrators even blocked traffic during the action, which led to about 20 arrests, according to the Gothamist. Most of the activists were charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing traffic.
Nearly 200 people participated in the protest march.
“I’m putting my body on the line tonight because we’re obligated as Jews to stand with people seeking safety and seeking home,” Rabbi Rachel Timoner of Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, reportedly said in a statement.
“I’m risking arrest today because America welcomed my own immigrant family to its shores, as it did millions of families before us who fled persecution,” said Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in New York City.
Jews know the devastating effects of religious persecution all too well as the current political climate is reminiscent of what their own ancestors and elders experienced during the World War II era.
“We’re repeating the tragedy of the St. Louis, the ship carrying 908 Jewish refugees that America turned away in 1939, sending them back to Europe where many were murdered,” Kleinbaum added.
Monday’s protesters reportedly wore prayer shawls and blew shofars outside of Trump Hotel while chanting, “No hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here,” and holding signs that read, “My people were refugees too” and “Another rabbi standing for justice.”
These efforts to build bridges, despite our differences, illustrate the true spirit of America and remind us why immigrants and refugees seek a life here in the first place.
Trump’s shocking election win indicated how divided the country is, but ironically, it seems the president has also inadvertently brought people together under the common goal of resisting his tyrannical reign.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Bin im Garten