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February 26, 2015, Jerusalem -- Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Rabbi Rick Jacobs, Execuitve Director of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) Anat Hoffman, and IRAC Director Rabbi Noa Sattath visited the Greek Orthodox Seminary in Jerusalem that was set on fire in a suspected hate crime by ultra-Orthodox Jews earlier this morning. They met with seminary students (ages 10-17) who reside there. Following the visit, Rabbi Jacobs issued the following statement:
"The string of violent attacks against places of worship - the mosque that was attacked yesterday and the seminary this morning - represents ideas that run against every value of the Jewish tradition. These events must not only be condemned, but stopped entirely. Coexistence is not an abstract ideal; it must be a daily practice, most especially in this holiest of cities."
Anat Hoffman added: "Being 'the other' in Jerusalem means being a second class citizen at best, and being subject to threats, intimidation, and humiliation at worst. We need to work harder to realize the vision of Jerusalem as a city of peace."