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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Letter to the Editor: Interfaith statement addressing anti-Semitic fliers at UC Davis


To the Editor:

Re “Anti-Semitic fliers posted throughout campus” (campus news story, Oct. 9):

In the early hours of Monday, Oct. 8, anti-Semitic fliers were distributed on the UC Davis campus as well as three other college campuses. The image was of recently-appointed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, surrounded by members of the U.S. Congress with a Star of David on their foreheads, depicted in a sinister fashion.  The flier, prepared by the neo-Nazi publication The Daily Stormer, suggests that Jews are behind “anti-white, anti-American, anti-freedom” movements. These are deeply troubling to us as faith leaders, and we condemn and repudiate what they insinuate.

As clergy and faith leaders, we do not agree on all aspects of theology, but we are convinced that it is better to live together in harmony as a civil society than to engage in hateful rhetoric, which too often has led to persecution and murder. We reject in principle any statement, religious or otherwise, that suggests these things. For those of us representing the Christian tradition, we recognize that the history of anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic sentiment in the church runs deep. We regret this history and are committed to a different path. Our U.S. Constitution protects the freedom of all individuals and faith communities to worship according to their conscience and convictions. We affirm this right with a full heart and mind. We condemn those who would attempt to sow seeds of discord and mistrust in our community.

We wish especially to address our Jewish friends and neighbors who are defamed and mischaracterized by this hateful literature. We offer ourselves as a supportive presence in the midst of this painful event, and we are resolved to repudiate hate speech or action of any kind. Further, we commit ourselves to the way of peace, to speaking the truth in love always and to continuing the work of healing a deeply broken world.   

Rev. Brandon Austin, United Methodist Church of Davis

Rev. Elizabeth Banks, Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis

Rabbi Seth Castleman

Rev. Dr. Pamela Dolan, Episcopal Church of St. Martin

Rev. Casey Dunsworth, Pastor and Program Director, The Belfry Lutheran Episcopal Campus Ministry

Hamza El-Nakhal, Islamic Center of Davis

John Fanous, Lead Pastor, University Covenant Church

Rev. Margaret Graydon, Deacon, Episcopal Church of St. Martin

Alex Haider-Winnett, Campus Minister, Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis

Rev. Christine Haider-Winnett, Via Sophia Ministries

Emily Hyberg – Executive Director, The Belfry Lutheran Episcopal Campus Ministry

Rev. Jeff Irwin, Davis Lutheran Church

Anne Kjemtrup, Davis Dein

Will Klier, Director of Davis Christian Fellowship

Rev. Morgan McLean, Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis

Rev. Dr. Chris Neufeld-Erdmann, Davis Community Church

Rev. Sara Nichols, Senior Minister, Center for Spiritual Awareness, Davis

Rev. David A. Peters, Pastor Emeritus, Davis Lutheran Church

Rev. Dr. Daniel R. Smith, Lutheran Church of the Incarnation

Sara Tillema, Director & Campus Minister, Cal Aggie Christian Association (CA House)

Rabbi Greg Wolfe, Congregation Bet Haverim

Affaf Waseem, Director of Middle Eastern/ South Asian Student Support

Rev. Jonathan Zachariou, Lead Pastor, Davis Christian Assembly



  1. Thank you to the religious leaders listed above. Please use your public to educate your communities and bring them together. Your work and commitment is much appreciated.


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