By ROCCO MAGLIO
On Thursday, October 24, 2019, Interfaith Voices Against Anti-Semitism was held at St. Theresa’s Roman Catholic Church. The event included several local religious leaders including Father Bruce King of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Spring Hill, Iman Ahmet Aly of the Islamic Center of New Port Richey, Rabbi Paul Schreiber of Temple Beth David, Rev. Giuseppe Mattei of Nativity Lutheran Church of Weeki Wachee, Rev. Thomas Weitzel of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Spring Hill and Ron Becker, spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Tefillah in Port Richey.
Interfaith Voices Against Anti-Semitism had 24 churches, 3 synagogues, and one mosque represented at the event. There were about 100 petitions of prayers collected, that will be made available for all religious organizations to use. They are anonymous.
These leaders came together to denounce hate. The goal was to bring people together, so speakers were asked to refrain from politics. Partisans on both sides of the political isle accuse the other side of hate speech.
Author Roslyn Franken spoke about the experiences of her parents during World War II which she related in her book “Meant to Be: A True Story of Might, Miracles and Triumph of the Human Spirit.” Mrs. Franken's mother was in Auschwitz during the war while her father was held in a Japanese prison camp.
Dr. Harry Richter of Tampa also recounted how both his parents survived the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. After the war Dr. Richter's parents immigrated to America.
The Interfaith Voices Against Anti-Semitism was organized by Arlene Glantz as a response to the murder of 11 jewish people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27, 2018.
The event was well attended with over 160 people attending. The success of the event invigorated the participants and they plan to build on this success with follow up events.
Go to https://youtu.be/RPSzzFuzXk4 to watch the event.