The clergy and congregational leaders of Mineola are united in expressing outrage that our community has been violated by the vandalism that defaced the doors of our local synagogue on Friday, July 3. We wish to express our strong support for Rabbi Anchelle Perl and the entire membership of Congregation Beth Shalom Chabad.
Our nation, celebrating its 233rd birthday on July 4, was founded on the premise that men and women could worship God according to the dictates of their consciences in relative freedom and safety.
For 2009, the people of Mineola have been exposed to the ugliness of bias, hate and evil on the eve of the celebration of freedom. Too many of our forebearers, along with many now serving in uniform, have suffered and died to defend liberty and freedom. We, therefore, must honor their sacrifice by speaking out at such a time as this.
The malice expressed in the vandalism to the synagogue doors must be addressed and opposed publicly. A spotlight on this action must let people know that this is wrong, this is un-American, and this is ungodly.
We ask the people of Mineola to rally in support of religious freedom by contacting Rabbi Perl with words of support, by supporting our law enforcement personnel in their attempts to apprehend the vandals, and supporting all the houses of worship in Mineola with your prayers and your participation.
Rev. Chester J. Easton, First Presbyterian Church of Mineola
Rev. Jill Bowden, Director of Pastoral Care, Winthrop-University Hospital
Fr. James Bowman, Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church
Mr. Sidney Glee, Salvation Army
Elder Carol Ann Harrigan, First Presbyterian Church of Mineola
Deacon Robert Hering, Lutheran Church of Our Saviour
Rev. Wilson Jose, Grace International Assembly of God
Rev. Renan Lima, Presbyterian Christian Community
Mr. Daniel Mason, First Presbyterian Church of Mineola
Deacon John Reinhart, Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church
Rev. Byangnam Rhim, Peace Presbyterian Church
Rev. Albert Triolo, Lutheran Church of Our Saviour