On Sunday, February 12, Temple Beth Or with Rabbi Robert Rubin, and Osbornville Baptist Church with pastor Fred Daugherty, hosted Dr. Lee Spitzer as he made a presentation of his research on Baptists response to Hitler, the Holocaust and the Jews titled “Baptists, Jews and the Holocaust….The Hand of Sincere Friendship”. Both congregations are located in Brick, NJ. Announcements of the event had been sent to local secular and religious media as well as information and invitations to local clergy and the North Shore Association of New Jersey Baptists.
Attended by 70 people, the presentation dealt with information from both secular and religious sources which described what was happening in Germany in the 1930’s and 40’s. The idea no one could know what was happening to the Jews was debunked. People did know and a small number took action. Besides publishing information in Baptist Journals many Baptist Groups passed resolutions condemning what was taking place as Jews were being arrested and sent to internment camps in Germany and other parts of Europe. Dr. Spitzer shared how his research demonstrated some groups responded as best they knew how while other Baptist individuals and groups demonstrated a high level of Anti-Semitism. The depth, breadth and spirit of his research and presentation was very well received.
Attending was a good representation from Temple Beth Or and from Osbornville Baptist Church along with a number of pastors in the area and people from the community. The responses to the presentation were enthusiastic and positive. Many commented on the current relevance of understanding this part of history in light of the current political situation around the world. It was an exciting moment with such a variety of people together in the Osbornville Baptist Church considering together such an important topic.