Following recent attacks on services and events at Jewish synagogues, temples and homes worldwide, five Jewish organizations are co-hosting a rally against anti-Semitism tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Byers Theatre at City Springs in Sandy Springs.
The event will be co-hosted by the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the Atlanta Rabbinical Association, the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.
It comes a day after the New York Solidarity March, which took place in response to not only the Dec. 28 incident but also previous ones in that state and elsewhere across the nation and the world. In the Dec. 28 attack, a suspect, later arrested and identified as Grafton Thomas, allegedly stabbed five individuals at a rabbi’s home during a Hanukkah celebration.
All five victims survived that attack, but previous ones have claimed the lives of several Jews, including the October 2018 mass shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh, where 11 individuals died and six more were injured during services there.
In a joint statement, the five organizations hosting the rally said their event will have the same theme as the previous day’s march in New York: “No Hate. No Fear.”
“This theme … speaks worlds about why we will gather in Atlanta today,” they stated. “Yesterday, thousands of people in New York marched, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, across the Brooklyn Bridge to stand together against hate. They flaunted their Jewish signs and markers, and walked hand in hand to show that being Jewish and proud in the face of the horrific slew of anti-Semitic assaults is who they are.
“Strength and pride in the face of terror. Anti-Semitism does not define them despite the tremendous violence they’ve encountered, but standing up to it does. And this work of standing up to anti-Semitism and hatred is done collectively with innumerous allies.”
The organizations also stated they want Jews to feel safe at all times.
“The Jewish community in Atlanta has been facing acts of anti-Semitism that have us feeling unstable: vandalism with swastikas and anti-Semitic slurs, anti-Semitic bullying of students in K-12 schools, silencing of Jewish voices on campus, harassment of Jews and Jewish organizations, the spread of anti-Semitic propaganda and the list goes on,” they stated. “Anti-Semitism is dangerously being normalized.
“But like our brothers and sisters in New York, we do not let this define us, and we will not let it be normalized. On January 6th, the night before the beginning of the Jewish fast Asarah B’Tevet, a Jewish day of recognizing what leads to destruction, the Jewish community will come together in solidarity with those who have faced anti-Semitism and celebration of those who have let love triumph over hate. … Join us and be a part of standing up to hate.”
Due to safety concerns, Galambos Way, the road leading into City Springs, will be closed to all vehicular traffic. The organizations co-hosting the rally have secured additional parking (about 300 spaces) at the Sandy Springs United Methodist Church Activities Center, located at 6150 Sandy Springs Circle (approximately 300 spaces). The center is located directly across the street from the main church and is a short walk to City Springs.