Don’t Silence Voices for Palestinian Rights: An Open Letter to Sinai Synagogue’s Leadership

As war crimes take the lives of Palestinian and Israeli civilians, many people worldwide speak out in support of justice and peace. Especially in times of war, voices of dissent need to be heard and rushes to militarist solutions need to be questioned.

In this context, we were disappointed to learn that Sinai Synagogue reprimanded Dan F. for his participation in a Gaza solidarity protest by firing him from his Saturday job as a Jewish ethics and Torah teacher. Sinai Synagogue outlined their reasoning in a “Special Letter to the Community” on October 12:

“Sinai Synagogue, and FEAST as its education program, stand with Israel […] Our teachers must be united in this and must reflect that in their work at the shul and especially outside in the community. Therefore, we had no choice but to release a teacher from his employment at FEAST effective immediately.”

Known to students as Moreh Aryeh, or “Mr. Lion,” Dan was a favorite teacher of many students and helped them find joy and pride in Jewish values. Dan had been thanked by supervisors for doing a “great job” and being a “good person and a good teacher.” Contrary to online slanders, Dan has of course never supported Hamas or attacks on Israeli civilians.

Some of us share Dan’s support for Boycott Divestment Sanctions, a unified democratic country, and immediately ending the siege on the Gaza Strip. Others of us simply believe that one should not be fired for holding or publicly expressing such views. Firing Dan has sent a chilling message to others in the community who may wish to study or advocate creative and peaceful approaches to the Israeli-Palestinian situation.

We call on Sinai Synagogue to:

-Re-hire Dan and apologize for firing him over his participation in an event to defend Palestinian human rights.

-Clarify that teachers and other community members are welcome to publicly voice unpopular views including anti-Zionist perspectives.

-Continue to denounce intimidation against Dan and his friends, including the assault which occurred at the synagogue luncheon on October 14.

We welcome signatures from people of all backgrounds and faiths. To sign, contact openletter2023@proton.me with your name and affiliation for identification purposes or with the name of an endorsing organization

Student Voices for Palestine, at University of Notre Dame

Black Lives Matter–South Bend

Michiana Friends of Palestine

Food Not Bombs–South Bend

Islamic Society of Michiana

Northern Indiana Democratic Socialists of America

Israelis Against Apartheid

Jews For Racial & Economic Justice

Jews for Palestinian Right of Return

Jews Against White Supremacy

Jewish Voice for Peace Northern NJ

Jewish Voice for Peace New Haven

Jewish Voice for Peace Pittsburgh

Jewish Antifascist Network in North Carolina

Ratzon: Center for Healing & Resistance

Anarcho-Judaism

Plant the Land Team–Gaza

Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People, Beit Sahour

Emerson College Students for Justice in Palestine

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, US

Science for the People

Promoting Enduring Peace

Middle East Crisis Committee

subMedia

It’s Going Down

Fightback (Aotearoa/Australia)

Climate Healers

Northern Indiana Atheists

Indiana Mutual Aid Coalition

Spokane DSA

Occupy Bergen County

Syria Solidarity NYC

Tom Pessah, sociologist and activist, Israel

Ofer Neiman, Israeli citizen

Oshra Bar, Israeli citizen

Michal Sapir, Israeli writer and musician

Ronnie Barkan, Israeli dissident, Palestine Action

Uri Gordon, PhD, Interfaith organizer

Rabbi Joshua Rubin, The Liberal Jewish Fellowship

Rabbi Debra Kolodny

Rabbi David Basior, Kadima Reconstructionist Community, Seattle WA on Duwamish Land

Lillian Rosengarten, Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany

Rebecca Vilkomerson, former Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace

Cindy Barukh Milstein, author and organizer

Beatrice Adler-Bolton, Jewish disability justice and healthcare activist, author, and co-host of Death Panel podcast

Rachel E. Luft, Jewish Associate Professor, Dept of Anthropology and Sociology, Seattle University

Jeff Ordower, North America Director, 350.org

Mitchell Plitnick, President, ReThinking Foreign Policy

Sonia Fayman, UJFP (French Jewish Union for Peace)

michele Sibony, UJFP (French Jewish Union for Peace)

Stephen R. Shalom, Jewish Voice for Peace Northern NJ,  Professor Emeritus, William Paterson University

Brian Tokar, Faculty and board member, Institute for Social Ecology and member of the Central Vermont Chavurah for Justice & Liberation

Shane Burley, Jewish author

Ben Lorber, author of Safety in Solidarity: A Radical Guide to Fighting Antisemitism (Melville House Press, 2024)

Matthew N. Lyons, Jewish antifascist writer and researcher

Dan Berger, Jewish historian, author, and grandson of Holocaust survivors

Anna Roth Trowbridge, Independent Jewish Voices Canada

Aaron Lakoff, Independent Jewish Voices Canada

Avi Gross-Grand, co-host, radio613

Douglas Wilcox, of Jewish Descent, Software Engineer

Simon Petrie, Jewish community member

Rachel Zerrell, Jewish lay leader, Seattle

Moishe Holleb, Jewish author

Monica Bunton, Jewish/Educator

Judith Butler

Marc Lamont Hill, Presidential Professor, CUNY Graduate Center

Omar Barghouti, Palestinian human rights defender

Rohini Hensman, writer, independent scholar and activist, India

Kehaulani Kauanui, Ph.D. Professor of American Studies, Wesleyan University

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Director of Palestine Institute for Biodiversity & Sustainability, Bethlehem University

Sean O’Brien, Lecturer, Yale Law School, Founder, Yale Privacy Lab

Ruhan Nagra, Associate Professor of Law, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

Anya Backlund, President of Blue Flowers Arts Literary Speakers Agency

Mike Ewall, Esq., Founder of Energy Justice Network and Beyond Burning

Mathilda Nassar, Assistant Director of National Fellowships at UND, Palestinian citizen

Ben Grosscup, Executive Director, People’s Music Network

Paul C. Mishler, Associate Professor of Labor Studies, IUSB-Indiana University

Atalia Omer, Professor of Religion, Conflict, and Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame

Pam Butler, Associate Teaching Professor, University of Notre Dame

Jaime Pensado, Historian, University of Notre Dame

Karen Graubart, University of Notre Dame

Seham Kafafi, PhD candidate at University of Notre Dame

Lauren Jean, PhD candidate at University of Notre Dame

Catherine Perl, PhD candidate, University of Notre Dame

Michelle Fine, Distinguished Professor of Critical Psychology The Graduate Center, CUNY

Joseph Daher, academic, Lausanne University and European University Institute

Michael Karadjis, Lecturer in Social Science and Development Studies, Western Sydney University

Michael V.H., Palestinian American writer and historian

Zachary Fox, PhD student at Brandeis University

Jonathan Sidharta-Leibovic, M.S. Ed, Jewish educator and community organizer

Joanne Braune, Ph.D., researcher countering antisemitism and Islamophobia

Rosalind Meadow, Jews for Justice for Palestine

Dr abrahim Weizfeld Phd, Jewish Socialist Bund, Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians

Tony Greenstein, Jewish Network for Palestine & Unite SE 6246 Branch

Prof. Haim Bresheeth, SOAS and Jewish Network for Palestine

Tagan Engel, Jewish community member

Lilli Sher, Jewish educator

Leah Robbins, Kavod Boston

Paula Friedland Panzarella -Jewish New Haven activist

Frank Panzarella, New Haven activist

Rebecca Sullivan, Jewish/ Anti-Zionist

Sylvia Finzi (Jewish)

Elizabeth Morley, individual of Jewish heritage; co-founder of Aberystwyth PSC and its successor Aberystwyth Friends of Palestine

David Cannon, Chair of Jewish Network for Palestine

Yasser Munif, Associate Professor, Emerson College

Patrick Burke, President, UAW Local 2322

Noe Pilego Campos, Wabash College

John P. Clark, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Loyola University, New Orleans

Michael Karadjis, Lecturer in Social Science and Development Studies, Western Sydney University

Dr Camilla Power, Dept of Anthropology, University College London

Prof Chris Knight, Dept of Anthropology, UCL

Mneesha Gellman, Associate Professor of Political Science, Emerson College

Joshua King, Senior Lecturer, Dept of Language and Culture Studies at Trinity College

Joshua Gold, PhD student

Louise Williams, PhD, philosopher and small business owner

Rich Fowler, co-owner of Eco-Owl Press

Julie Dye, Native American rights activist

Madolyn Wesaw, Indigenous activist

Haley Nice, Mishawaka resident

Tonna Robinson

Drew Duncan, activist

Syd Troyer, Mishawaka resident

Igor A. Rodríguez, M.Phil

Lester Pitogo, educator

Valeria Chamorro, educator

Rhiannon Carlson

Guadalupe Zavala

Peter Loutzenhiser, Co-chair of Northern Indiana Democratic Socialists of America

Taylor Hollowell, Northern Indiana Democratic Socialists of America

Sean Fleming, M.Ed. Special Education Teacher

Jeremiah Cox, Government Employee, South Bend 

Anna P Sherck, Black Lives Matter–South Bend

Aaron S. Amaral, Esq., New York, NY

Dawn Marie Paley, PhD, journalist and editor

Emily Smith, PhD

Thomas Harrison, retired high school teacher

Robert Cuffy, labor activist

John Tallent, author and activist

Abundia Alvarado

Borris Milián Díaz, Havana, freelancer and activist

Michael Hotkowski, activist and folk singer

Heather Luna, anti-oppression trainer and activist, Bogotá, Colombia

Keith Barton

Madeleine Flynn, Brooklyn, NY – musician and activist

Nancy Holmstrom, Professor of Philosophy Emerita, Rutgers University – Newark

Marie-Claire Klassen, postdoctoral researcher, KU Leuven, Belgium

Rolla E. Lewis, EdD, NCC, CSUEB Professor Emeritus

Stephen Duplantier

Zachary Kirwood RN, New Orleans, LA

Steve Ongerth, co-founder, IWW Eco Union Caucus

Lew Ward

Tony Martel, PhD Candidate at Nelson Mandela University

Sheri Neely

Lane Silberstein

Ron Lester Whyte, artist and activist

Claire B. W. Müller, community organizer

Eleanor Finley

Laurence Davis

Joshua Harper

David Gallahan, PhD

Charles Imboden

Chissa Rivaldi, PhD

Meghan Keane, Founding Co-Director of Emergent Horizons (501c3)

Becca Royce

Javier Sethness, FNP-BC

Rose Groat Fischer

John R. Porter

Olivia Malone

Lee Gloster

Lisa Cunningham

Bernard Spiegal

Kevin Hayes

Sarah Sheriff

Leona Morgan

Linda Speigh

Alice Golin

J. Paula Roderick

Sally Jane Gellert

Rosemarie Pace, Ed.D.

Willilam H. Slavick, retired Pax Christi Maine coordinator, University of Notre Dame BA, Ph.D

Raouf J. Halaby, Professor Emeritus, English and Art

Rev. Paul Mitchell, Pioneer United Methodist Church, Walla Walla, WA

Genie Silver, Ph.D., WILPF US, former Lecturer, Bryn Mawr College

Mary Allen

fern Wildtruth, PhD candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, Member of Science for the People

Deniz Tont, Health and Welfare Advisor, University of California San Diego

Judith Berlowitz, Bay Area Women in Black

Alex Lotorto, historical fiction author, member of Baltimore Washington Newsguild

Shaznene Hussain

Zane McNeill, chair of the National Lawyers Guild’s Animal Liberation Committee

Sailesh Rao

Carlucci, Ten Sights Institutes of Social Cohesion

Kate Bermingham, Assistant Professor, Bucknell University

Cassie Walker-Sleman, photographer, disability justice advocate

Carla Lauren Cooper, BSc, MSc, Trainee Cognitive Therapist, University of Hertfordshire, UK

Matthew Quest, PhD

Aaron Vansintjan, PhD Project manager, Center for Indigenous Conservation and Development Alternatives

Mason Herson-Hord

Michael Letwin, Former President, Assn. of Legal Aid Attorneys; Labor for Palestine

Marvin S. Zuckerman, Dean Emeritus, Los Angeles Valley College

John Spritzler, editor of PDRBoston.org

Amine Yakine

Brooke Lehman

Wayne D. Price, Doctor of Psychology, writer

Tim Huynh

Laura Schleifer, Plant the Land, Promoting Enduring Peace

will silvester

Yael Horowitz, PhD student at CUNY Graduate Center

Joe Scheip

Scott Campbell, PhD Student

Naava Smolash, PhD, author

Gabriel Ash

Mazel Ginsberg

Cameron Michelson, Organizer, International Union of Painters & Allied Trades – District Council 77

Heather Vrana, historian

Jason Schulman, NYC-DSA

Jared Leve

Em Berkey

Z Lev Cunningham

Dennis Fox, Emeritus Associate Professor of Legal Studies & Psychology, University of Illinois at Springfield

Nigel C Gibson, Professor, Emerson College

Lionel Guyot, teacher

Troy Vettese

Amina Masri

Alexa McCall

Verónica Dahl

Sarah Abbott

Dana Edell

Tevin Alexander

Nicole Bauman

Nelli Sargsyan, PhD

Nelius Bresnan, Dublin, Ireland

Madeline Hubbard, early childhood educator

Chris Siegriest, Rose Core Collective VT

Sass Borodkin, Executive Director, Resources for Organizing and Social Change

Andy Davis, Tamworth, New Hampshire

Autumn Rhodes, teacher

Elliott Miskovicz, musician and writer

Get

the Wire

Stay up to date on the most important news from Palestine and the Palestine solidarity movement, and receive action alerts and invitations to online events.