Just when world leaders gather in Jerusalem to remember the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and to reaffirm a commitment to fight antisemitism, cowards defaced the exterior of Temple Sinai in Wellington, New Zealand with swastikas.

The Union for Progressive Judaism and the Moetzah (Progressive Rabbinic Council) received the report of this incident yesterday with sadness and alarm. The incident exemplifies that which the King of Spain decried when he declared that remembrance alone is unfortunately not enough” and “that barbarism can grow when least expected.”

We note the support that Temple Sinai has received support from New Zealand trade unions, other faith communities, New Zealand’s Race Relations Commissioner and, importantly, the police.

UPJ Co-presidents Brian Samuel and David Knoll, together with the Chair of the Moetzah Rabbi David Kunin said: “It is time for the authorities in New Zealand to step up their efforts to protect the Jewish community, and other vulnerable faith communities, from acts of hate.

“It is also time for New Zealand’s political leaders to forthrightly declare that Antisemitism is socially unacceptable in New Zealand. New Zealand’s absence from the Holocaust Remembrance gathering in Jerusalem sends just the wrong message.”

David D. Knoll AM – UPJ Co-President
Rabbi David Kunin – Moetzah Chairperson
Brian Samuel OAM – UPJ Co-President