Letter to Prime Minister Ardern

• Leaders of diverse faiths are welcome to lend their name to this letter.• To lend your name, please use the contact form on this website and send your title, name, city and country (and your organization if you wish) the way you wish these to appear on the letter. Thank you.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Wellington, New Zealand

Dear Prime Minister Ardern,

We, Jewish and interfaith leaders in the United States and Canada, reach out to you as Prime Minister of New Zealand. We offer our heartfelt condolence to the Muslim community and the entire nation on the tragic murders of Muslims in the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch.

We continue to pray for the 50 who lost their lives, for the healing of the wounded and for everyone affected by the tragedy and their loved ones.

We thank you for your leadership in the aftermath of this tragedy. As you continue to support and lead during this period of mourning, we ask that you please also turn your attention, and the attention of your nation, to the support of peace and understanding among peoples of faith throughout New Zealand and beyond.

We are very concerned that during this time of mourning, and in the midst of so much outreach and support across diverse communities, there has been a statement made at a public rally by Ahmed Bhamji (Chairman of the Masjid E Umar in Auckland) and heard on video which includes him saying, “I really want to say one thing today. Do you think this guy was alone… I want to ask you – where did he get the funding from? I stand here and I say I have a very, very strong suspicion that there’s some group behind him and I am not afraid to say I feel Mossad is behind this…. and not only them. There are some business houses also, who are around you know, Zionist business houses. They are behind them.”

We stand with the New Zealand Human Rights Council who tweeted, “Prejudice against Jewish people has no place in New Zealand,” and “We must condemn racism, hate and anti-Semitism whenever we see it.”

We stand with leaders and members of the Muslim community who have condemned this hate speech, including New Zealand lawyer and White Ribbon ambassador Umar Abdul Kuddus, who posted on Facebook, “I was on the ground in Christchurch and I saw Rabbis and Jewish community leaders coming to support and pray with us for the victims and their families. I feel embarrassed that this individual is seen as a representative of my community when in fact he represents no one person of the Muslim community but for his own unacceptable views.” and with the statement of Abdul Qayyum of Masjid Ayesha in Auckland, who wrote, “Masjid Ayesha of Clendon Trust wishes to apologize to the Jewish community for the unacceptable and thoughtless comments that were made.”

We stand with the leaders and members of the Jewish community in New Zealand and elsewhere who have been reaching out, praying and providing contributions and support to the Muslim community in the aftermath of the horrific tragedy in Christchurch.

We stand together against terror and oppression on religious grounds and on all grounds. Let us not wait for the next tragedy and the next. We ask that you please add your voice to those who are countering these lies and the twisting of reality.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Doug Alpert, Congregation Kol Ami-KC, Kansas City, MO, U.S.A.

Rabbi Dr. Renni S. Altman, Poughkeepsie, NY, U.S.A.

Cantorial Leader Ilana Axel, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Alan Bachman, North American Interfaith Network, Salt Lake City, UT, U.S.A.

Nancy Battey, Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, Walnut Creek, CA, U.S.A.

Rabbi Phyllis Berman, Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.

Professor Emily Blank, Washington D.C., U.S.A.

John Blatter, Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, Danville, CA, U.S.A.

Rabbi Shalom Bochner, Congregation Beth Shalom, Modesto, California, U.S.A.

Rabbi Eva Sax-Bolder, The Shul of New York, NY, U.S.A.

Rabbi Stephen Booth-Nadav, Wisdom House Denver, Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.

Rabbi Jill Borodin, Seattle, WA, U.S.A.

Rabbi Debra S. Cantor, B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom, Bloomfield, CT, U.S.A.

Rabbi Cantor Adalah Caplowe, Boca Raton, FL, U.S.A.

Rabbi Joshua Chasan, Ohavi Zedek Synagogue, Burlington VT, U.S.A.

Rabbi Eli Cohen, Santa Cruz, CA, U.S.A

Rev. Paula Clayton Dempsey, Alliance of Baptists, U.S.A.

Rabbi Barat Ellman, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Rabbi Dr. Andrew Vogel Ettin, Temple Israel, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, U.S.A.

Rabbi Michael Feinberg, Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Rabbi Zev-Hayyim Feyer, Clarement, CA U.S.A.

Rabbi Brian Field, Judaism Your Way, Denver, Colorado, USA

Cantor Alisa Fineman, Congregation Beth Israel, Carmel, CA

Rabbi Betsy Forester. Madison, WI, U.S.A.

Rabbi Pam Frydman, San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.

Rabbi Gordon Fuller, Columbia, MD, U.S.A.

Rabbi Laura Geller, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, CA U.S.A.

Rabbi Everett Gendler, Phillips Academy & Temple Emanuel, Lowell & Andover, MA, U.S.A.

Rabbi Dan Goldblatt, Beth Chaim Congregation, Danville, CA, U.S.A.

Rabbi Suzanne Griffel, Chicago, IL, U.S.A.

Rabbi Yosef Grodsky, Jupiter, FL, U.S.A.

Rabbi Chaya Gusfield, Oakland, CA, U.S.A.

Rabbi Cantor Jill Hausman, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Rabbi Yitzhak Husbands-Hankin, Eugene, OR, U.S.A.

Rabbi Dr. Maury Hoberman, West Chester, PA, USA

Rabbi Mark Hurvitz, Ramona, CA, U.S.A.

Rabbi Ivan Ickovits, Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.

Rabbinic Pastor Eve Ilsen, Aleph Alliance for Jewish Renewal, Boulder, CO, U.S.A.

Rabbi David A. Ingber, Romemu, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Rabbi Devorah Jacobson, Hadley MA, U.S.A.

Rabbi Lori Klein, Capitola, CA, USA

Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein, Elgin, IL, U.S.A.

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Rabbi Suri Krieger, B’nai Or of Greater Boston, Waltham, MA, U.S.A.

Cantor Allen Leider, Falls Church, VA, U.S.A.

Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Wyncote, PA, U.S.A.

Rabbi Ellen Lippmann, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Rabbi Paula Marcus, Aptos, CA, U.S.A.

Rev. Will McGarvey, Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, Walnut Creek, California, USA

Channing Miller, Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, Walnut Creek, CA, U.S.A.

Rabbi Yocheved Mintz, Congregation P’nai Tikvah, Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.

Rabbi Shimon Moch, Fort Collins, Colorado, U.S.A.

Rabbi Dr. Adele Plotkin, U.S.A.

Rev.  Scott Quinn, Marin Interfaith Council, San Rafael, CA, U.S.A.

Cantor Leah Frey-Rabine, Niddatal, Germany

Rabbi Kliel Rose, Congregation Etz Chayim, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Rabbi Ken Rosenstein, Boston, MA, U.S.A.

Cantor Dr. Michal Rubin, Columbia SC, U.S.A.

Rabbi Robert Scheinberg, Hoboken, NJ, U.S.A.

Rabbi Chaim Schneider, Aptos, CA, U.S.A.

Rabbi Jonathan Seidel, Eugene. OR, U.S.A.

Rabbi David Seidenberg, Boston, MA, U.S.A.

Rabbi Larry Sernovitz, Cherry Hill, NJ, U.S.A.

Rabbi Gerry Serotta, Chevy Chase, MD, U.S.A.

Rabbi Jeremy Sher, U.S.A.

Rabbi Jessica K. Shimberg, Columbus, OH, U.S.A.

Rabbi Hanna Tiferet Siegel, ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, Victoria, BC, Canada

Rabbi Suzanne Singer, Temple Beth El, Riverside, CA, U.S.A.

Rabbi Amy Joy Small, Ohavi Zedek Synagogue, Burlington, VT, U.S.A.

Rabbi Toba Spitzer, Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, West Newton MA, U.S.A.

Rabbi David Steinberg, Duluth, MN, U.S.A.

Rabbi Robert Tabak, Melrose Park, PA U.S.A.

Rabbi Shifrah Tobacman, Emeryville, CA, U.S.A.

Rabbi Burton Visotzky, Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Rabbi Ora Weiss, Newton, MA, U.S.A.

Rabbi Joey Wolf, Havurah Shalom, Portland, OR, U.S.A.

Cantor Greg Yaroslow, San Bernardino, CA, U.S.A.

Rabbi David Zaslow, Ashland, Oregon, U.S.A.

Rabbi Simcha Zevit, Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.

Rabbi Rain Zohav, Rockville, MD, U.S.A.

* This signer may not yet have see the revisions to our letter.