Tuesday morning, a powerful letter against anti-Semitism was sent from Montana’s top elected leaders.
Governor Steve Bullock, Attorney General Tim Fox, Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines, and Representative Ryan Zinke all wrote the letter together, titled ‘standing together’.
The letter states this:
Dear fellow Americans, as we close out this year and look toward the future, we as Montana’s elected leaders are focused on the values that reflect our true character.
We offer our full support to the Jewish community, Montana families, businesses, faith organizations and law enforcement officers as they ensure the security of all our communities.
We will address these threats directly and forcefully, putting our political differences aside to stand up for what’s right. That’s the Montana way, and the American way.
We are encouraged that so many Montanans from a variety of religious backgrounds have joined us in condemning this extreme ideology.
God bless the great state of Montana and the United States of America.
This letter is resonating with Montanans, especially in the Jewish community.
For members of Missoula’s Jewish community, the anti-Semitic rhetoric targeted at Whitefish is deeply concerning.
Har Shalom rabbinic intern Laurie Franklin commented, “It’s important to continue to support the families that have been targeted directly and to express feelings of solidarity with the Jewish community there”
Franklin says the letter is encouraging to the Jewish community and other communities of identity within the state.
“To also thank the city council, the mayor, the fire, police, north valley hospital, all for what they do in order to support the whole public. We appreciate their public service,” said Franklin.
From the Jeanette Rankin Peace Center in Missoula, more support of the letter.
Executive Director Betsy Mulligan-Dauge says it’s time for all Montanans to come together and speak out against hate.
“It’s very heartening to see that they come out in support of religious freedom and against any sort of intimidation or threats that interfere with that because people look to them for leadership and representation, and they set the tone…and this is the right tone to set,” said Mulligan-Dauge.
Last week there was a community wide movement to put a menorah, or an image of a menorah in the window of businesses or homes. This idea was created for Missoulians to show solidarity with the Jewish community during Hanukkah.
We’ve since seen them around Missoula– in church windows and local businesses.