Letter: Jewish Residents Call for a Ceasefire [updated]


Healthcare Workers Say: Stop Bombing Hospitals! Ceasefire Now! San Francisco, November 20, 2023. Photo: Peg Hunter / Flckr.com (CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED)

As Jewish residents of Amherst, we urge the Amherst Town Council to vote in favor of the Resolution in Support of a Ceasefire in Gaza. We believe it is crucial to uplift Palestinian voices, and we share our perspective in solidarity with our Palestinian, Muslim, and Arab-American neighbors who are impacted most acutely.

As members of a people that has survived genocide and mass pogroms, we oppose attacking or mistreating innocent civilians of ANY faith, nationality or ethnicityAmong us are descendants of Holocaust survivors and people with family members currently living in the region. We call for an immediate and sustained ceasefire in Gaza, an end to the Israeli military siege of the Gaza Strip, the release of the hostages and detainees on both sides, the removal of obstacles to urgently needed humanitarian aid entering Gaza, and an end to unconditional U.S. military aid to the Israeli government. We reject the notion that the bombardment and annihilation of Gaza is in the name of Jewish safety. We know that a ceasefire will make everyone safer.

We firmly reject the idea that calling for a ceasefire is antisemitic or fuels antisemitism. On the contrary, this Resolution is community-led and is supported by a broad cross-section of our town. The 700+ community sponsors include Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faith leaders; people across political backgrounds; and community sponsors of the previous Council resolutions passed in support of Ukraine and after the Hamas attacks. We insist, with Jews around the world, that opposition to the Israeli government’s violence, enabled by the United States, is not antisemitic. In fact, equating this opposition with antisemitism dilutes the reality of antisemitism.

We join many other fellow Jewish Amherst residents in calling for the Council to vote “yes”. Many Jews here, unlike the Jewish Federation of Western Mass, support a ceasefire. Also, the Council shouldn’t allow out of town groups to silence local voices. We view our support of the resolution as deeply embedded in Jewish values, and we believe that having a civil debate and a vote on this measure, rather than quashing dialog, will make Amherst a healthier place to live for all our families.

Furthermore, your vote in favor of the Resolution to Support a Ceasefire in Gaza, extends support for residents – Palestinian, Israeli, and Jewish – who are directly impacted by this ongoing crisis, reaffirms our commitment to the safety of all members of our community, and joins with others seeking just and peaceful solutions.

Jewish residents of Amherst who wish to add their names to this letter can do so here.

Confirmed Signers:
As of Noon 3/4 – 120 Signers (94 residents, 26 community members)

Julia Agron, District 5
Lisa Amato, District 5
Arin Andrews, District 2
Rafael Ash, District 4
Natalie Auerbach, Student in Amherst
Eric Bachrach, District 2
Rebecca Bell-Gurwitz, Student in Amherst
Adi Bemak, District 4
Aaron Berman, District 3
Mary Bernstein, District 5
Daniel Berry, District 2
Glen Bertrand, District 5
Joey Biers-Browne, District 2
Sarah Bluestein, District 5
Marisol Bonifaz, District 1
Nina Brand, District 1
Sophia Brandt, Student in Amherst
Eleanore Brown, District 5
Ira Bryck, District 4
Lenore Bryck, District 4
Muhammad Butt, Resident of Northampton Shabnam Butt, Resident of Northampton
Unnza Butt, Resident of Northampton
Jeff Conant, District 2
Nina Dabek, District 5
Molly Daniell, Works / shops in Amherst
Elena Davis, District 4
Stella Dee, District 4
Ben Donaldson, District 3
Shiri Dori-Hacohen, District 3
Julian Drummond, Community member
Maya Elinevsky, District 4
Levi Enzie, District 4
Alan Frank, District 1
Judith Frank, District 4
Graham Frechette, District 5
Nate Frolichstein-Appel, Student in Amherst
Yael Fuerst, District 4
Lisa Gaughran, District 3
Nancy Gittleman, District 1
Vanessa Glass, District 5
Jeffrey Gold, Member of JCA
Laila Gold, Community member
Jacob Green, District 5
Juliana Green, District 5
Nancy Grossman, Amherst business owner
& elected official
Joanna Hejl, District 4
Laura Jane Hunter, District 2
Lilly Israel, District 1
Maida Ives, District 3
Hannah Jamate, District 2
Nechama (Megan) Joy Lieff, District 1
Brooke Karunanande, District 5
Arthur Keene, District 3
Maura Keene, District 3

Ksenia Klepitskaya, District 5
Mattea Kramer, District 1
Corey Kurtz, District 3
Karen Lederer, District 4
Jerry Levinsky , District 4
Nina Levison, District 1
Michal Loren, Works / shops in Amherst
Rachid M., Works / shops in Amherst
Kelly Malone-Wolfsun, Student in Amherst
Jarrett Man, District 5
Jay Mankita, District 1
Ethan Markham, District 3
Liat Melnick, District 1
Ellen Mentin, District 4
Nina Mentin, District 5
Emily Mentin-Chamble, District 2
Joanna Fagelman Morse, District 5
Renee Moss, District 2
Kristen Murphy, Community member
Faith Nussbaum, District 2
Benjamin Orenstein, District 2
Steven Palatt, District 5
Lynne Peskoe-Yang, District 1
Lynn Peterfreund, District 1
Sianna Plavin, District 5
Sarah Prager, District 4
Alyssa Premji, Community member
Riswan Raufdeen, District 1
Jillian Rosenbaum, District 3
Iris Rosenfeld, District 3
Cyrus Safizadeh, District 1
Karen Sanchez-Eppler, District 3
Mary Santiago, District 4
Marcie Sclove, District 2
Katerina Seligmann, District 2
Danielle Seltzer, Works / shops in Amherst
David Sharken, District 1
Susan Sheldon, District 5
Aaron Shragge, District 3
Hezekiah Sims, District 2
Dane Slutzky, District 2
Judy Stern, District 2
Uri Strauss, District 3
Kenneth Talan, Former Amherst resident
Laurie Tanenbaum,, District 4
Gary Michael Tartakov, District 4
Martha Toro, District 3
Gerry Weiss, District 5
Laura Wenk, District 2
Noah T. Winer, Member of JCA
Bob Winston, District 4
Janet Winston, District 4
Lauren Xaba, District 2
Anonymous Signer, Community member
Anonymous Signer, Community member
Anonymous Signer, District 1
Anonymous Signer, District 1
Anonymous Signer, District 2
Anonymous Signer, District 3
Anonymous Signer, District 5
Anonymous Signer, District 5
Anonymous Signer, District 5
Anonymous Signer, Student in Amherst
Anonymous Signer, Student in Amherst
Anonymous Signer, Student in Amherst

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