(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON — Twelve members of the US Congress and a number of European ambassadors will attend synagogues this month and participate in other activities to show their concern about anti-Semitism.
Among 11 Democrats and the Republican pledged to observe the May 22 “Solidarity Sabbat” is Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the Senate minority leader and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), one of two Muslims in Congress. The sole Republican so far pledged is Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.).
Also pledged to participate, according to the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, which is organizing the event, are ambassadors to Washington from Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Georgia and Cyprus. Noted human rights activists Chen Guangcheng, formerly of China, and Paul Rusesabagina, formerly of Rwanda, also are signed on.
In addition to visiting synagogues, options for participation include hosting a Shabbat dinner and organizing a meeting on religious intolerance.
A release from the Lantos Foundation says “high-level” political leaders from Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Spain and Sweden will participate, although these have not been named.
The foundation set up a website for others to take the pledge.
“The Solidarity Sabbath provides a unique opportunity for leaders in Europe and North America to stand shoulder to shoulder against anti-Semitism and send a powerful message that this kind of hate will not be tolerated,” Katrina Lantos Swett, the foundation’s president, said in a statement.