It’s easy to get depressed reading the news about escalating violence and campaigns of threats against Jews and Muslims alike — not to mention foreigners and other minorities.
But amidst the hatred, there are gratifying signs of solidarity between Jews and Muslims that we haven’t seen in a while. Here are six examples:
After a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis was vandalized and hundreds of tombstones damaged last week, Muslim activists Linda Sarsour and Tarek El-Messidi started a crowdfunding campaign to repair the damage. The campaign quickly exceeded its goal of $20,000, raising over $140,000 since it began.
After the mosque in Victoria, Texas burned down in January, the Jews of the small town gave the Muslims a key to the synagogue. “We felt for them,” said Robert Loeb, president of the temple. The Muslim community has been using the synagogue for its services while repairs are underway.
Over 100 Muslims attended services at Congregation Bnai Tikvah in North Brunswick, New Jersey in an act of solidarity with the Jewish community after the latest wave of anti-Semitic threats.
More than 45,000 Jews signed an open letter penned by Bend the Arc in support of Muslims and other minority groups in November.
A campaign started by Adeel Karim to raise money for the torched Tampa mosque was quickly inundated with donations in multiples of $18 – contributions from Jewish donors. “The Jewish faith has shown up in force to support our New Tampa Islamic community. I’m floored,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
At a protest of the executive order on immigration at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Jews and Muslims stood side by side. One photograph in particular went viral, showing a Jewish boy with a yarmulkeh on his father’s shoulders smiling at a young girl in a hijab on her father’s shoulders. The two families shared a Shabbat dinner together the following week.
Contact Shira Hanau at email@example.com or on Twitter @shirahanau