The JCRC, The David Project,
the Islamic Society of Boston
April 4, 2006
Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston
We are writing to you to express our disappointment and concern with the JCRC's role in the dispute between the Islamic Society of Boston and the David Project. While no single segment of our community can speak for all of its members, it is very clear to Tekiah that the JCRC is not representing the opinions of many Jews through its public statements about this issue. Tekiah has heard from numerous members who are extremely concerned with protecting the rights of the Muslim community to build and utilize a house of worship. As one of our members remarked in response to the David Project's allegations, “Today somebody opposes mosques, tomorrow synagogues.”
We are fortunate to live in a time when we, as Jews, are included in American society, our rights and freedoms are relatively protected, and our beliefs and differences are accepted. We are fortunate within the Jewish community to have space for varying practices and opinions. But we are not now, nor will we ever be, at a time when we can take these privileges for granted. As a community that has experienced discrimination and persecution throughout our history, we have a responsibility to speak up when others are treated unfairly.
Tekiah is deeply troubled that prominent Jewish organizations such as the JCRC and CJP have implicitly condoned the tactics and conduct employed by the David Project in its efforts to halt the building of the ISB mosque. Our shared Jewish values teach us to seek justice for all and to act according to the highest standard of morality and ethics. The JCRC often exemplifies the pursuit of justice by working to achieve equal rights for all, and we have been pleased to work with the JCRC on various issues. This is why we are deeply disappointed that Jewish community institutions, including the JCRC, are contradicting their demonstrated sense of justice and morality by standing with the David Project at this time.
To be clear, we understand and share your concerns about the personal histories of some ISB members and the statements attributed to a few. We also understand the desire to come to the aid of a fellow Jewish organization. However, we feel that ending dialogue with the ISB and declaring solidarity with the David Project are not effective ways to address these concerns.