On 26 October 2023 in the Bucks Council Chamber in Aylesbury, Rabbi Neil Janes of South Bucks Jewish Community led a call for peace and against hate in the county, alongside other faith leaders, and introduced by The Countess Howe, His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant in Buckinghamshire. The faith leaders affirmed it was unacceptable that there has been a more than five-fold increase in antisemitism in the area since the Hamas attack in Israel on October 7th, alongside an increase in islamophobia which they also condemned.
The faith leaders from the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Baháʼí, Hindu, and Quaker communities read out a statement together which called on all residents in Buckinghamshire to speak out against every form of hatred and to share prayers for an end to war.
Rabbi Janes said, “This is about being responsible for our local society, ensuring it reflects the values we hold dear of justice, compassion and peace and against hate. We want to bridge the divides between us in person and online to show there is more that unites us.” Rabbi Neil continued, “There is anxiety, fear, and sadness in our local communities and we were gathered together to model the society we all wish to live in – one of love, respect, tolerance, justice, and peace.”
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