A man at a pro-Israel rally in New York City holds a sign May 12, 2021. (CNS photo/David Delgado, Reuters)

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — During a “Day of Action Against Anti-Semitism” virtual rally May 27, government officials, leaders from the Jewish community and civil rights organizations, among others, spoke out against a surge of anti-Semitism in the United States and around the world.

Recent incidents include Jews being beaten in New York and Los Angeles “and their religious institutions threatened and vandalized,” said a statement from the sponsors of the rally.

“Targeting Jews for being Jewish is not activism or a foreign policy debate — it’s anti-Semitism. We condemn anti-Jewish hate, violence against Jews, and anti-Semitism in all spaces — no caveats and no qualifiers,” they said.

The sponsors included the ADL, American Jewish Committee, Hadassah WZOA, Jewish Federations of North America; Orthodox Union, Reconstructing Judaism, Union for Reform Judaism and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

“I strongly believe that the explosion of anti-Semitism in the United States and worldwide must be exposed and rigorously combatted,” said rally speaker Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey.

He is co-chair of the House Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism.

“Anti-Semitism in the United States — which had already been worsening according to the FBI, more than 60% of all anti-religious hate crimes in the U.S. are directed against Jews –is now exploding as never before,” he said.

He called for “people of conscience” to “stand in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters against this rising tide of hate.”

“Our words and deeds must be clear and bold,” Smith added. “We must absolutely reject anti-Semitism in all of its ugly forms.

In New York, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan was invited by Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson, senior rabbi of Temple Emanu-El to join his congregation for Shabbat services May 28.

Ahead of the services, they each issued a statement decrying the rise in anti-Semitism.

This violence “has been a source of pain and concern for the Jewish community and all people who stand against hate,” said Rabbi Davidson. “As Jews continue to be the targets of verbal abuse and physical violence at home and abroad, it is a comfort to know that our brothers and sisters of the Catholic faith stand with us.”

“I am grateful to Cardinal Dolan for joining us for Shabbat tonight, for his personal friendship, and for representing the solidarity and support from the Catholic community,” he added.

Cardinal Dolan said: “I am proud to join with my Jewish brothers and sisters at Temple Emanu-El, in a demonstration of concern and support during this period of rising anti-Semitic attacks.”

“The Catholic community in New York stands together with the Jewish community to condemn all acts of bigotry and hate, wherever they occur,” he said.