“If we’re going to be the family of Abraham, we together have to call out Islamophobia. We have to beat back the forces of bigotry, whether it’s anti-Jewish bigotry, anti-Muslim bigotry or bigotry in any form in America,” said Rabbi Jonah in a speech last month at the Islamic Center of Tennessee.
Rabbi Pesner is the director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), a group that advises Jews on legislative and social concerns. The rabbi is currently touring the country, delivering speeches at religious centers on such vital matters as tackling religious stereotypes and defeating anti-Muslim sentiment
“It’s my job to fight Islamophobia and build relationships with the Muslim community,” says Rabbi Pesner. “We stand with them when they come under attack and fight for refugees and against Islamophobia.”
The current refugee situation is personal for the rabbi as his own grandmother had escaped pogroms and anti-Semitism in Europe when she was a young girl.
The rabbi says too few Americans know someone who is Muslim and with fear, often comes hostility. “Only 8% of Americans have met a Muslim,” says Pesner. “It should be 100%. Everyone should know Muslim and Jewish people.”