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Kansans United Against Antisemitism

STATEMENT

We, the undersigned, are proud Kansans who stand firmly with our brothers and sisters in the Jewish community against the rising tide of antisemitism. In April 2014, three people were murdered in an attack on the Jewish community of Overland Park, Kansas. Since then, violent antisemitism has continued to rise in the United States. In October 2018, eleven Jews were killed in the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in U.S. history at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jews have also been murdered in Poway, California; Jersey City, New Jersey; and Monsey, New York simply for being Jews. 

According to the FBI 2020 Hate Crimes Statistics, American Jews—who make up less than 2% of the American population—were the victims of 57.5% of anti-religious hate crimes. 

We are united as Kansans from all different faiths and backgrounds who stand together to say:

Enough

Antisemitism is not only an attack on Jews but an assault on the core values of any democratic and pluralistic society. As people of good faith, we have a responsibility to speak out against the growing menace of antisemitism. 

The first step to combating antisemitism is understanding it; we cannot adequately fight what we cannot define. We, the undersigned, affirm our support for the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, which provides useful examples of the ways in which antisemitism manifests itself today.  Defining antisemitism using the internally accepted “gold standard” IHRA definition is an important step to combat this ancient hatred. 

We know that antisemitism stems from a number of sources, and appears across the political spectrum. We condemn antisemitism in all its forms, including hatred and prejudice directed toward Jews, stereotypes or conspiracy theories about Jews, Holocaust denial or distortion, and denying the Jewish people’s right to self-determination and/or the Jewish state’s right to exist. 

We call upon our leaders in state government to join us in declaring unequivocally that antisemitism is incompatible with fundamental democratic values, and to adopt the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism as an important educational resource for state and local agencies. As Kansans, we reaffirm our support for the Jewish communities across our state and our commitment to advancing the values of respectful coexistence.

(scroll down to see the list of signers)

CURRENT SIGNERS OF THE STATEMENT

AdventHealth Shawnee Mission
Becoming Beloved Community Team, Greater Kansas City Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Overland Park
Blue Valley High School's Holocaust and Antisemitism Education Club, Overland Park
Congregation Beth Israel Abraham and Voliner (BIAV), Overland Park
Congregation Beth Shalom, Overland Park
Congregation Beth Torah, Overland Park
Congregation Emanu El, Wichita
Donnelly College, Kansas City
Embrace I.M.P.AC.T! LLC, Derby
First Congregational Church, Topeka
The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Kansas City
Heritage UMC, Overland Park
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City
Indian Heights United Methodist Church, Lenexa
Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, Overland Park
Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City, Overland Park
The Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City, Overland Park
Kansas Catholic Conference, Topeka
Kansas Holocaust Commission, Topeka
Kehilath Israel Synagogue, Overland Park
KU Hillel, Lawrence
Mainstream Coalition, Merriam
Mid-America LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Kansas City
Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation Inc, Wichita
Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, Overland Park
National Council of Jewish Women, Kansas City
NewSpring Church, Wichita
NEJC Chamber of Commerce, Roeland Park
Old Mission UMC, Fairway
Overland Park Chamber of Commerce, Overland Park
Rabbinical Association of Greater Kansas City
Saint Andrew Christian Church, Olathe
St. Michael and Angels Episcopal Church, Mission
SevenDays Inc., Merriam
State of Kansas Holocaust Commission, Topeka
Strangers No More, Overland Park
Temple Beth Sholom, Topeka
The Temple, Congregation B'nai Jehudah, Overland Park
Village Shalom, Leawood
City of Westwood Hills
Peggy J. Dunn, Mayor, Leawood
Sollie Flora, Mayor, Mission
Mike Kelly, Mayor, Roeland Park
Eric Mikkelson, Mayor, Prairie Village
Michael A. Padilla, Mayor, Topeka
Curt Skoog, Mayor, Overland Park
David E. Waters, Mayor, Westwood
Dr. Brandon Whipple, Mayor, Wichita
Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone, Congregation Ahavath Achim, Wichita
Reverend Jason Carle, Pastor, Overland Park Presbyterian Church, Overland Park
Reverend Roger L. Hahn, Pastor, Church of the Nazarene, Overland Park
Reverend Adam Hamilton, Pastor, The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Leawood

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