Statement of Support


Westchester Interfaith Clergy

Statement on Hate

“If you can’t see God in all, you can’t see God at all.”

These are the words of Harbhajan Singh, a member of the Sikh religion from Pakistan. This message voices the universal declaration of all religions: We belong to one human family. When any of us experiences joy, all of us share in that joy. And when any of us experiences pain, all of us share in that pain.

Today, we are in pain. We, clergy of many different religions and denominations, good and true neighbors, affirm our common love for every man, woman and child on this planet. As one, we condemn the bomb threats which were made against two Jewish Community Center facilities in Westchester. While we are grateful that no one was hurt, we denounce the hatred that has been unleashed on our neighbors.

Sadly, this is only the most recent of aggressive, intolerant acts that have been perpetrated against different groups across our nation. In the polarized atmosphere that now pervades our country, we are not surprised such threats have arrived to Westchester. It was only a matter of time.

As a community of diverse houses of worship, we embrace the highest ideals of respect and consideration for everyone. We call upon our local and national leaders to renew America’s promise as a nation that was built by people from every conceivable land and ethnicity. We implore those who have the ears of this nation’s citizens to affirm that bigotry will never be permitted to blot out tolerance, understanding and goodwill.

America is so much better than this. We must all be better than this. How we treat those whose religion is different, whose skin color is different, whose nation of origin is different, whose sexual or gender identity is different — this will determine the stature of our humanity and our citizenship.

What we see is unacceptable and we pledge to work with each other and within our communities to create bonds that are based upon mutual respect and love.

America was founded on the principle that we could all build this nation together. Our shared religious perspective would put it this way: God wants us to reject intolerance. God longs for us to embrace each other. God waits for us to open our doors, and in one simple, loving gesture, to proclaim, “You will always be welcome here.”

Signed (in alphabetical order),

Rev. John F. Backe Trinity Lutheran Church White Plains NY

Rev. Dr. Deborah Blanks Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church White Plains, NY

The Rev. Tami L. Burks St. Thomas Episcopal Church Mamaroneck, NY

Chappaqua Interfaith Council Chappaqua, NY

The Reverend Samuel T. Clover The Reformed Church of Bronxville Bronxville, NY

Rabbi Fredda Cohen White Plains, NY

The Rev. Susan Copley Christ Episcopal Church & San Marcos Tarrytown, NY

Rev. Dr. William P. Crawford Larchmont Avenue Church Larchmont, NY

Rev. Doris K. Dalton, UMC Deacon Westchester Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute of Nonviolence White Plains, NY

The Rev. Noelle Damico United Church of Christ, Metro Association White Plains, NY

Rabbi Julie Danan Pleasantville Community Synagogue Pleasantville, NY

Rev. Mashona Walston Davis Reformed Church of Cortlandtown Montrose, NY

Rabbi Billy Dreskin Woodlands Community Temple Greenburgh, NY

Cantor Ellen Dreskin Ardsley, NY

The Rev. Lynn M. Dunn White Plains Presbyterian Church White Plains, NY

Rabbi Joan Glazer Farber Tarrytown, NY

Pastor Robert Freire New Hope Fellowship Tarrytown, NY

The Rev. Carol D. Gadsden St. Thomas Episcopal Church Mamaroneck, NY

The Rev. Jeffrey Gargano Reformed Church of the Tarrytowns Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow, NY

Rev. Meredith Garmon Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation White Plains, NY

The Rev. Jeffrey A. Geary White Plains Presbyterian Church White Plains, NY

Cantor Margot E.B. Goldberg Temple Beth Abraham Tarrytown, NY

Cantor Jonathan Gordon Woodlands Community Temple Greenburgh, NY

Rev. Dr. Jane Ann Groom All Souls Parish Port Chester, NY

Rev. David R. Harkness Irvington Presbyterian Church Irvington, NY

Rev. Martha Louise Harkness Irvington, NY

The Rev. Sarah E. Henkel White Plains Presbyterian Church White Plains, NY

Rev. Robert P. Henry St. Matthew & Our Lady of Perpetual Help Hastings and Ardsley, NY

Cantor Randy Herman Bet Torah Mt Kisco, NY

Rev. Stephen Holton St. James Episcopal Church North Salem, NY

Rabbi David Holtz Temple Beth Abraham Tarrytown, NY

The Rev. Dr. Martha R. Jacobs First Congregational Church Chappaqua, NY

Rabbi Jonathan Jaffe Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester Chappaqua, NY

The Rev. Dr. Carole Johannsen, BCC Phelps Hospital / Northwell Health Sleepy Hollow, NY

Cantor Robin Joseph Temple Beth Shalom Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

Rabbi Steve Kane Congregation Sons of Israel Briarcliff Manor, NY

Linda M. Knapp, 2nd Reader First Church of Christ, Scientist Tarrytown, NY

Rabbi Lori Koffman Bet Torah Mt Kisco, NY

The Rev. Richard Kunz Grace/La Gracia Episcopal Church White Plains, NY

Rev. Bruce Lamb Ardsley United Methodist Church Ardsley, NY

The Rev. Dr. Gawain de Leeuw, OA St. Bartholomew's Church White Plains, NY

Rev. Paul D. Lent Freedom Plains United Presbyterian Church Lagrangeville, NY

Rabbi Maura Linzer Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester Chappaqua, NY

The Rev. Claire Lofgren St. Joseph of Arimathea Episcopal Church White Plains, NY

Rabbi Shira Milgrom Congregation Kol Ami White Plains, NY

Rabbi Bethie Miller Larchmont Temple Larchmont, NY

Rev. Ted Miller Westminster Presbyterian Church Salt Point, NY

The Rev. Canon Patricia Mitchell Church of the Ascension Church of Sts. John, Paul and Clement Mt Vernon, NY

Pastor Linda Nealon United Methodist Church of the Tarrytowns Tarrytown, NY

Father Robert Norris Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church Elmsford, NY

Rev. Luanne Panarotti Pleasant Plains Presbyterian Church Staatsburg, NY

Rev. Drew Paton South Presbyterian Church Dobbs Ferry, NY

The Rev. Anna Pearson, D.Min. Grace Episcopal Church Hastings on Hudson, NY

The Reverend Yejide S. Peters All Saints' Episcopal Church Briarcliff Manor, NY

Rev. Leroy Richards First Community Church of the Nazarene Greenburgh, NY

Pastor Torrey Robinson First Baptist Church Tarrytown, NY

Ven. Tenku Ruff Soto Zen Buddhist Priest Chappaqua, NY

Rabbi Ed Schecter Temple Beth Shalom Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

Dan J. Schoch, 1st Reader First Church of Christ, Scientist Tarrytown, NY

Rabbi Dina Shargel Temple Israel Center White Plains, NY

Rabbi Benjy Silverman Chabad of the Rivertowns Dobbs Ferry, NY

Rabbi Jeffrey Sirkman Larchmont Temple Larchmont, NY

Rev. Elizabeth Smith-Bartlett Larchmont Avenue Church Larchmont, NY

Rabbi Jay M. Stein Greenburgh Hebrew Center Dobbs Ferry, NY

Peter Stone Christian Science Church White Plains NY

Rabbi Joshua Strom Congregation B'nai Yisrael Armonk, NY

Rev. Peter D. Surgenor Holmes Presbyterian Camp Holmes, NY

Rev. Erwin Lee Trollinger Calvary Baptist Church White Plains, NY

Rabbi Gordon Tucker Temple Israel Center White Plains, NY

Upper Westchester Muslim Society Thornwood, NY

Rev. Noel Vanek Community Church of the Pelhams Pelham, NY

Rev. Julius Walls Jr Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church Yonkers, NY

Rev. Perry Wootten Old First Church (Newark, NJ) Mt. Kisco, NY

Bart Worden, Clergy Leader Ethical Culture Society of Westchester White Plains, NY

Rabbi Mara Young Woodlands Community Temple Greenburgh, NY

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Pastor: Rev. Dr. Leroy Richards

Associate Pastor: Rev. Kristina Sammy

Address: 2101 Saw Mill River Rd, White Plains, NY 10607

Phone:(914) 347-2601   |  Email: fccnaz@outlook.com