As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approached I, like so many others, began to reflect on the events of that devastating day, and all that has transpired in our country and throughout the world since. I also began to think about the future and what life might look light 10 years from now. What kind of society will my young twins — now in preschool — live in as post-bar and bat mitzvah teens? As a rabbi and interfaith educator, I am particularly concerned about the role of religion in helping to create a more just and compassionate world.
Since the attacks on 9/11 and various events following it created serious challenges for inter-religious cooperation, I decided to reach out to colleagues from other faiths to see if we could formulate a shared vision statement. Thankfully, Rev. Bud Heckman of Religions for Peace USA and Valarie Kaur of Groundswell at Auburn Theological Seminary were working on similar projects, so we decided to draft what became the following pledge, with help from advisers at our respective organizations.
If any one of us had written this document alone it would certainly read differently than the current text, but our intention was to see what we could say together, knowing that we hold different beliefs and opinions, and that we also share key values in common. We are grateful to the dozens of religious leaders that have lent support to this effort by signing their names to this pledge. It gives us renewed hope that our religious communities can work together to create a better future.
If this statement speaks to you, we invite you to add your name to the list of signatories and to share the text with family, friends and community members. It is our prayer that this document — imperfect, to be sure — might be helpful to others in strengthening their commitment to religious pluralism, to justice, and to the healing of our broken and beautiful world.
For more, along with the text of the pledge, please see Joshua Stanton’s article. Rabbi Rose serves as Associate Dean of the Rabbinical School at Hebrew College, an institution directly affiliated with State of Formation.