Minnesota’s top elected officials stood in unity with local Jewish leaders to denounce a recent rash of anti-Semitic hate crimes during an ecumenical rally that drew an estimated 1,400 people to Temple Israel in south Minneapolis.
The gathering was designed as a show of solidarity with Jewish communities across the country following a bloody machete attack at a Hanukkah celebration in New York last month. Throngs of people packed the synagogue to capacity as the event began while others crowded into an overflow room.
Steven Belton, president and CEO of the Twin Cities Urban League, an African-American advocacy organization, made a point of encouraging African-American and Jewish solidarity despite the identities of recent attackers when speaking at the rally.
“There are some who would isolate the fact that the perpetrator of the horrific stabbing in Monsey, New York, was an African American man…and try to use it as a cleave to divide us further,” Belton said. “But I say to you tonight: That’s a distraction…I want you to remember what we have in common. I want you to remember tonight that we stand together, and not apart, and that we are stronger together.”