Township of Monroe

The Mayor's Column

Why I Joined Other Mayors…

September 12, 2017

By Mayor Gerald W. Tamburro

In partnership with the American Jewish Committee, I am beyond proud to announce that I have joined more than 360 mayors within the U.S. and upwards of 190 mayors around the globe, who are taking a stand against anti-Semitism.

Personally, I did so with the backing of our Township Council members; and ceremoniously, I did so with a proclamation presentation to our local Hadassah Alisa Chapter representatives, Marilyn Gerstein and Karen Mandel, at a July 5 Township Council meeting.  I have also presented the resolution to the Regency Hadassah and later this month, will be at Stonebridge’s Hadassah.

Together, we are publicly condemning prejudice, hatred and discrimination perpetrated against the Jewish community.  Furthermore, we condemn hate against all people, as we look to advance human rights, our core democratic values and a peaceful and respectful co-existence around the world.

This is an important action that required my attention and my support for many reasons.

I took this action (and wrote this column) before the horrific events of Charlottesville underscored just how important it is to speak out against hate of all kinds and anti-Semitism.

I am proud that we have a very active and engaged Jewish community in Monroe.  I also believe our Township has one of the largest communities of Holocaust survivors in the country.  These extraordinary people have witnessed first-hand the atrocities of the Holocaust.

The inhuman crimes waged against the Jewish people during that era stemmed from the seeds of discrimination. When planted among our citizens and our children, those seeds can only bare the fruits of ignorance, fear and cruelty. 

Some might say that the persecution of the Jewish people is a page for the history books, a dark period that we won’t likely see again in our lifetime.

I argue that there is a reason Holocaust survivors have adopted the phrase, “We Must Never Forget.”

Their struggle remains relevant to this very day, lest we repeat ourselves.

Had there been a more universal pushback against anti-Semitism in those times, I’d imagine the outcome would have been very different.

The hate summit that convened in Charlottesville is only the most recent example of a problem that we must confront in our time.

So today, I take this action and we do our best to atone for the silence of our forefathers and stand in solidarity against hate, in whatever form it might take and against whatever color or creed it has set its sights on. 

Our diversity, as a country and even as a community, is not a weakness, but rather our greatest strength.

I hope you stand with me in this fight, because anti-Semitism and any form of hate have no place here in Monroe or America. 

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