Westminster's Response to Hedy Epstein's Visit

By Andries Coetzee

March 12, 2012

In response to the The Daily Record article entitled, "Local Jewish leaders critical of Epstein event", that was published on Friday March 9, Westminster issued the following Press Release.   "Westminster Presbyterian Church of Wooster seeks to be a voice for justice and compassion for people locally, nationally and internationally who are denied justice and whose suffering is ignored.  In this spirit of compassion, Westminster Presbyterian Church, an intentionally inclusive church, invited Hedy Epstein to share her vision of justice, security and compassion for the Christians, Jews and Muslims of Israel-Palestine.

In a gathering of church and community members, Hedy Epstein, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, spoke about her family's and personal experience of the atrocities committed by the Nazis of Germany during WWII.  From these experiences of the Holocaust, Hedy became convinced of the need to speak out whenever there is injustice.  Also from her personal experience during five trips to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories since 2003, she spoke of the harsh present day injustice experienced by Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation.  Epstein believes that the solution to the suffering of the Jews of Europe is not an exclusive militarized Jewish state but rather a state that grants the same privileges and rights to all its people, irrespective of ethnicity or religion."

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Comments (4) - Post a Comment
Linda Barbu at 11:00am EDT - March 12, 2012
Just the same, the Jewish community has the same right to speak out. Won't you agree?
Linda Houston at 2:19pm EDT - March 12, 2012
I think it is a very powerful statement when a Holocaust survivor sees injustice in present day Israel--not in the way the Jews are treated but in the actions of the Jews and how they treat the Palestinians.
John Stewart made the point recently that those of us in the U.S. are less willing/able to talk openly about the Israel/Palestine situation than those in Israel [ specifically those in the Knesset] I applaud Westminster for bringing in this speaker--even if I didn't get a chance to hear her.
Anne Wilson at 9:51am EDT - March 20, 2012
Yes, I agree with Linda Houston. I welcome a dialogue with anyone from the Jewish community who might be able to help me reconcile with the Israelis who deprived me of home and country. I seek understanding for Palestinian suffering and for the injustice under which they continue to live in their homeland. From the heart of Palestinian suffering, I pray that we can dialogue here in Wooster. Only by courageously, honestly and forthrightly acknowledging the pain and suffering of all in the Holy Land, can we begin to reconcile with each other.
Nahida H Gordon at 9:55am EDT - March 23, 2012

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