October 24, 2023
Messages of Support from the Interfaith Community
As the war continues into a third week, we would like to share with you segments of some of the many messages of support and solidarity the Jewish Federation of San Antonio received from our interfaith community.
Dear Jewish friends,
As a frequent traveler to Israel over the past 30 years and having many close, personal friends in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, I cannot express how shocked and saddened I am over the barbaric and inhumane actions Hamas perpetrated again innocent Israelis. It is almost too much to comprehend when you hear the reports or see the pictures of what was done. There are not words strong enough to condemn what has happened and I fully support Israel’s right to exist and defend itself against those who seek to do it harm.
As a Christian who struggles with what is the right course of action moving forward, one thing is certain. I stand with Israel at this perilous hour, when its very existence is again being threatened and its people being senselessly terrorized. I ask all my fellow Christians to pray for Israel and the Jewish people and to speak out vigorously in their defense.
I also pray for the suffering Palestinians and people of Gaza, about whom the Hamas leaders care little and whose vital needs they ignore. I have many Palestinian friends in the region as well and I pray for them and their safety. We cannot forget that the ultimate goal of Hamas is to eradicate Israel and the Jewish people and it is my hope and prayer that, at the end of the day, Israelis and Palestinians will be able to live together in security and in peace.
Rev. Dr. Michael Buckner Fanning, former Associate Minister of the Fellowship of San Antonio
“Dear Jewish friends,[Our] thoughts and hearts are with the people of Israel and with all of those who have lost loved ones.”
Armen Babajanian, Chief Executive Officer of the World Affairs Council of San Antonio
Dear Jewish friends,
I cannot begin to imagine the grief and pain that you are enduring right now. The events of the last week have stunned all of us by their barbarity.
I travelled to Israel one year ago and have said many times that the visit made the events of Holy Scripture much more “real” to me. In this moment, I also feel a much more “real” connection with the Israeli people who have hosted and befriended many in our First Presbyterian Church family.
As a Christian leader, I grieve with you. But, as both Prime Minister Netanyahu and Secretary of State Blinken have said, this is a time for moral clarity and therefore I also condemn the gruesome and inhumane atrocities of Hamas. The terrorist organization has wantonly slaughtered and terrorized innocent men, women and children. By their own definitions, these are not random acts of violence but the operations of a mission to exterminate the Jewish State of Israel and the Jewish people. There is no Godly justification for this violence.
I also condemn the neglect and abuse Hamas has perpetrated on its own people. Hamas has refused to accept peace with Israel or to take care of their fellow Palestinians. I pray for the suffering Palestinians and people of Gaza—the pawns and victims of their own leaders.
I stand with Israel at this perilous hour, when its very existence is again being threatened and its people being senselessly murdered. I call upon all Christians to pray for Israel and the Jewish people and to speak out vigorously in their defense.
On Monday evening, about 20 FPC members and I gathered with other members of the community at Temple Beth-El. We came to show our support for you and to express the essential truth of Proverbs 17:17:
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
The relationship between FPC and the Jewish Community is long and important to us. We will continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6) and that the Lord will bring peace and justice to Israel, even as He brings peace to your hearts.
Grace and peace unto you,
The Rev. Dr. Bob Fuller, Senior Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, San Antonio, Texas
“Dear Jewish friends,
We want to take this moment to express our solidarity with you. The Hindu community of San Antonio feels the helplessness and despair of this situation and will do everything we can to provide support and strength to our Jewish brothers and sisters who are experiencing a very dark moment that nobody should ever go through in their worst nightmares.”
Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA San Antonio Chapter
Dear Jewish friends
I speak for Christians throughout San Antonio when I say, our hearts break for Jewish people everywhere. The hostilities experienced by the citizens of Israel at the hands of Hamas are beyond understanding. I can only imagine the sorrow this brings you. Such acts must be condemned. That this brutal attack has fueled threats and actions against Jewish institutions, places of worship, and people throughout the world is reprehensible.
We stand with you in support of Israel and against antisemitism, whatever the form. We are honored to call you neighbor, friend, co-workers, and fellow citizens of the Alamo City. May the God of peace and justice bring both.
Max Lucado, Teaching Minister
Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, Texas
Dear Rabbi Yergin and San Antonio Jewish familyWe were shocked and in disbelief seeing the news coming out of Israel last Saturday regarding the dastardly horrific terrorist attack by Hamas and its associates on unsuspecting families of Israelis who were possibly jolted out of their peaceful sleep or preparations for a festive weekend. The passage of days has definitely not helped in easing the pain or reducing the trauma caused by the initial visuals as we continue to see, hear and read more about the tyranny and the mindless, senseless, needless violence that was inflicted upon a peaceful community. We want to take this moment to express our solidarity with you. The hindu community of San Antonio feels the helplessness and despair of this situation and will do everything we can to provide support and strength to our jewish brothers and sisters who are experiencing a very dark moment that nobody should even go through in their worst nightmares. The month of October is celebrated as Hindu Heritage month across the United States of America. As we congregate and get together on various occasions throughout this period we will make it a point to remember the fallen, pray for the ones left behind to gain strength and for our community as a whole to find peace. We will be humbled for any opportunity to serve and be of assistance or support in any manner possible and are a call, text or mail away. We remain yours truly
HSS USA San Antonio chapter
“Dear Jewish friends,
As Episcopal priests, we mourn with you in these painful and frightening times. Our hearts are heavy as you walk through these days.
We stand with Israel in this dangerous hour, knowing that her very existence is endangered. We also join our prayers to those of many Christians around the world and ask all to join us in prayers for those who mourn, those who need healing, and those who have lost their homes and livelihoods. We pray for those who have died; may their memory be a blessing.”
We also pray for the suffering Palestinians and people of Gaza, for it is clear that Hamas regards them as nothing more than pawns. As a terrorist organization, Hamas has no regard for Palestinian brothers and sisters.
We hope for the longed day when Palestinians and Israelis can live peacefully together.
The Rev. Doug Earle, Episcopal priest
The Rev. Mary Earle, Episcopal priest