(JTA) – A Long Island bishop visited a local Holocaust memorial centre in the wake of several anti-Semitic hate attacks in the suburban New York area.
Bishop John Barres, the head of the Diocese of Rockville Centre since January, was accompanied by other church officials on his visit to the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County in Glen Cove on Tuesday. They met Holocaust survivors along with centre staff and volunteers.
Barres said the visit was an opportunity to strengthen the bond between the church and the Jewish community.
“A deep goal is to continue the beautiful friendship with Jewish people on Long Island,” he told WCBS-TV.
The visit follows several anti-Semitic incidents in Nassau County, including swastikas spray-painted inside a high school.
At the centre, the bishop met with Holocaust survivor Gloria Glantz, 78, who was hidden from the Nazis by a Catholic Polish neighbor.
“I was praying to Jesus at 3 1/2,” Glantz told WCBS. “I didn’t know much about current events, I didn’t know much about my religion.
“I would have been sent to the Treblinka death camp.”
Barres said the tour renewed his ambition to help protect minority groups under attack.
“We need to regard the dignity of every human life,” he said.