Approved by the AAR Board of Directors on October 31, 2018
The Board of Directors of the American Academy of Religion expresses its profound grief and outrage at the horrific synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh on Saturday. We mourn the loss of Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, Cecil Rosenthal, David Rosenthal, Bernice Simon, Sylvan Simon, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax, and Irving Younger. The Anti-Defamation League records an increase of 57% in antisemitic incidents in 2017. We denounce antisemitism, hatred, bigotry, violence, and racism. We utterly lament the desecration of places of worship, and the infinitely valuable human beings who gather in such places, by bigoted and murderous violence, as has happened in Pittsburgh; Sutherland Springs, Texas; and Charleston, South Carolina, in just the last few years. We call on our members, our members’ institutions, other scholars of religion, and all people to reject bigotry and violence in all its forms and to reaffirm a commitment to a just world for all.