Methodist seminary in Dayton issues statement of solidarity with Jewish community
The faculty of United Theological Seminary, a United Methodist Church institution based in Dayton, issued a statement of solidarity with the Jewish community on March 24, saying it is “greatly disturbed” by the “uptick in antisemitic incidents since November” across the United States.
“Not only does this activity evoke the hostility toward Jewish life and culture in Europe leading up to the Shoah, it is a symptom of the present political climate in America,” the statement says. “In short, we acknowledge that these are acts of terror specifically targeting our Jewish neighbors. We also acknowledge that these incidents are part of a larger social trend, one that injures a wider network of neighborly relationships.”
The statement also acknowledges that Christian history is “replete with examples of Christians perpetrating or condoning acts of hatred,” and expresses the seminary’s hope to help break that pattern. “If there is a seed of collaboration to be planted here, we stand at the ready to listen and to participate.”
UTS Associate Prof. of New Testament Dr. Anthony Le Donne was the primary author of the statement, which was approved by the 18 faculty members at its Dayton campus. It mentions the defacement of a “local institution” with a swastika, which he confirmed is a reference to an act of vandalism on the campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institution of Religion in Cincinnati, discovered on Jan. 3.