The Rabbinical Alliance of America – the Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American rabbis – stands in support and solidarity with Asian Americans and calls on all Americans to likewise stand up and condemn the recent violence perpetrated against Asian Americans. The tragic, cold-blooded Atlanta shooting this week by an evil, hateful individual claimed the lives of eight innocent people, possibly due to racism. Tragically, less than an hour later, four Asian Americans were murdered in a separate violent shooting.

These deadly attacks come at a time of reports of an increase of anti-Asian racism and violence during this pandemic. The organization Stop Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Hate, a national coalition documenting and addressing anti-Asian discrimination during the pandemic, said they received nearly 3,800 self-reports of anti-Asian hate and bias incidents from March 2020 through February 2021.

Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America (RAA), expressed the RAA’s “strongest condemnation of this unspeakable tragedy and heartfelt sympathy for the families of victims first and foremost, but also for the Asian American community. The Asian American community is reeling from disturbing levels of racist attacks and incidents that shockingly have spiked during the pandemic.”

Mirocznik continued, “This tragedy affects every American, because we are all residents of this country, members of the same society. All Americans must express their outrage at these hateful acts of terror. The RAA prays for the victims’ families. We stand in solidarity with our Asian American brothers and sisters, and we call for greater solidarity from members of the clergy, community leaders, and elected representatives. As Jews, we have a long history of combating anti-Semitism, pogroms, the Holocaust, and terror in Israel. We relate to the pain currently being experienced by the Asian American community, and we therefore call for greater solidarity from every decent, peace-loving American. Hatred cannot become a partisan issue. We must all unite against bigotry and hate.

“As the Passover Holiday draws near, a holiday that celebrates freedom and the victory of good over evil, we pray that He who makes peace in His Heavens make peace on this earth. May the Almighty inspire all those who bear hate in their hearts to see the error in their ways and to channel their energy in a positive direction, helping make this world a better place for all people.”