Four American rabbinical groups announced Wednesday that they will be forgoing their traditional call with the U.S. president to mark the Jewish High Holy Days after President Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., last week.
The Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Rabbinical Assembly, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism said they had "thoughtfully and prayerfully considered whether to continue the practice in recent years of playing key roles in organizing a conference call for the president of the United States to bring High Holiday greetings to American rabbis."
"We have concluded that President Trump's statements during and after the tragic events in Charlottesville are so lacking in moral leadership and empathy for the victims of racial and religious hatred that we cannot organize such a call this year," the joint statement said.
Last December, the liberal Central Conference of American Rabbis boycotted the Hanukkah party of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations because it was being held at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.
Trump initially placed blame on "both sides" for the violent rally that cost one counterprotester her life in Charlottesville when groups of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK gathered to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue.
"Responsibility for the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, including the death of Heather Heyer, does not lie with many sides but with one side: the Nazis, alt-right and white supremacists who brought their hate to a peaceful community," the joint statement said.
The groups said they pray Trump will recognize the "error he has made in abetting the voices of hatred."
"Our tradition teaches us that humanity is fallible yet also capable of change," the statement said. "We pray that President Trump will recognize and remedy the grave error he has made in abetting the voice of hatred. We pray that those who traffic in anti-Semitism, racism, and xenophobia will see that there is no place for such pernicious philosophies in a civilized society."
The Jewish High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur will be observed in late September this year.
This story has been updated to include the names of all the Jewish groups that signed onto the statement.