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South Orange, Maplewood, Millburn Religious Leaders Sign Letter Urging Christie to Accept Refugees

 

The Rev. Bernie Poppe of St. George's in Maplewood is among the local signers of the letter urging Gov. Christie to allow asylum for refugees.
The Rev. Bernie Poppe of St. George’s in Maplewood is among the local signers of the letter urging Gov. Christie to allow asylum for refugees.

At least 15 South Orange, Maplewood and Millburn religious leaders are among nearly 100 New Jersey priests, imams, rabbis, pastors and other religious to sign a letter urging Gov. Chris Christie to reconsider his position regarding Syrian refugees.

As reported on NJ.com, Christie told a conservative talk show host on Nov. 16, “The fact is that we need for appropriate vetting, and I don’t think that orphans under 5 should be admitted to the United States at this point.” Christie said that New Jersey would not participate in any federal program resettling Syrian refugees in the state.

According to NJ.com, the letter from the religious leaders reads in part: “While we respect the deep security concerns that may be present when someone enters this country and seeks asylum, we urge you to not conflate two separate and important issues,” the letter reads. “We understand the importance of keeping our residents safe. However, we ask that you see these Syrian refugees as we do, as our faiths do, and as the world does: as individuals fleeing from terror, not perpetrators of terror.”

Among the signatories are:

Rabbi Jesse M. Olitzky of Congregation Beth El, South Orange;

Rev. Bernie Poppe, St. George’s Episcopal Church, Maplewood

Rev. Canon Dr. Sandye Wilson, of Episcopal Church of St Andrew and Holy Communion, South Orange;

Rabbi Dan Cohen of Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, South Orange

Rabbi Mark Cooper of Oheb Shalom Congregation, South Orange;

Cantor Erica Lipitz of Oheb Shalom Congregation, South Orange;

Rabbi Leonard Levin, South Orange;

Pastor Valencia Norman of First Presbyterian & Trinity Church, South Orange;

Rev. Bradford L. Motta of Morrow Memorial United Methodist Church, Maplewood;

Rev. Rick Boyer of Prospect Presbyterian Church, Maplewood;

Rabbi Matthew D. Gewirtz of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Short Hills;

Rabbi Helaine Ettinger of Millburn;

Rev. Lawrence E. Frizzell of Seton Hall University, South Orange;

Pastor Molege Desir of the South Orange-Vailsburg United Methodist Church, South Orange

Rabbi Alexandra Klein of Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, South Orange

 

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