Bloomington UUs Take a Stand Against Acts of Antisemitism
Since Nov. 23, seven different incidents of vandalism aimed at the Jewish community of Bloomington, Indiana have been reported to campus and city police. The UU Church of Bloomington has joined with other community leaders to condemn these acts, and stand on the side of love.
Co-ministers Reverend Mary Ann Macklin and Reverend Bill Breeden sent out a Ministers Column to their congregation members and friends. They said:
At our worship services on Sunday we also responded to the recent acts of violence and bigotry against the Jewish community. Our choir under the direction of Sue Swaney sang “Oseh Shalom” the words of which translate: May he who makes peace in the heavens, grant peace to us and to all our people, And let us say Amen.” Reverend Emily Manvel Leite conducted our own Menorah Lighting, an annual event honoring Jewish families, members and friends within our congregation, the wisdom of the Jewish tradition within our liberal religious tradition, and also our Jewish sisters and brothers throughout the world. The children’s included stories of how people of courage have responded to bigotry and hatred with nonviolence and solidarity. The ministers encouraged everyone to take home the image of a Menorah which was a paper insert in the Order of Service.
On Sunday evening, Reverend Bill Breeden attended another event of solidarity announced in the Herald Times and our worship services. He marched proudly with our Unitarian Universalist Banner to the Chabad House, along with other Unitarian Universalists, to join a diverse crowd from our Bloomington community. There was singing, dancing and the lighting of a large Menorah by Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan.
The Herald-Times reported on the solidarity event:
Bill and Glenda Breeden joined the crowd with a flag from Bloomington’s Unitarian Universalist Church. Glenda Breeden said she believes all people should be able to walk on whatever spiritual path they choose: “It’s everyone’s right to express themselves as they will.”
Standing on the side of love means standing in solidarity against oppression and violence, she said.
Bill Breeden, co-minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church, called the recent acts of anti-Semitic vandalism “heartbreaking” and an “assault on all of us.” Members of the church lit a menorah during their Sunday services, as well, he said.