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Condemnation of Arson at Sacramento Synagogues

1999 Action of Immediate Witness

In the early morning hours of Friday, June 18, 1999, three synagogues in Sacramento, California, were set on fire. The three synagogues—Congregation B'nai Israel, Congregation Beth Shalom, and Knesset Israel Torah Center—suffered over $1,000,000 worth of damage, including a library with a 2,000-year-old bible and videos of holocaust survivors. Anti-Semitic flyers were left at each scene, and the FBI is investigating the arsons as hate crimes. Immediately after the events, the Sacramento interfaith community rose as one in support and solidarity with the three congregations.

These acts of violence strike at Unitarian Universalists' most deeply held principles. We condemn all such acts of hatred and intolerance. The 1996 General Assembly decried the burning of churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship. We do so again.

As Unitarian Universalists, we want our voices to be heard.

Therefore the 1999 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association requests that:

  1. individual Unitarian Universalists continue to speak out in condemnation of such acts of desecration and destruction;
  2. the Unitarian Universalist Association convey our sympathy to and solidarity with the congregations of the three synagogues; and
  3. the Unitarian Universalist Association, in conjunction with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, on behalf of the Unitarian Universalist movement as a whole, make an appeal to all Unitarian Universalist congregations to assist Sacramento Interfaith projects, such as the proposed Museum of Tolerance, which will address the climate of intolerance and hate which led to these crimes.

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For more information contact socialjustice@uua.org.