The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing nearly 200 traditional Rabbis in the United States and Canada, today issued a letter commending Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana for the “sincere, heartfelt reflections” that he recorded while visiting the Auschwitz Death Camp earlier this year, and for “detailing and dramatizing the atrocities of the Holocaust, and for sharing [his] horror at what [he] saw.”

The video produced by the Congressman proved controversial to some in the Jewish community, because Rep. Higgins recorded his reflections in the death camps — and then pledged to support strong borders to ensure “that the United States is protected from the evils of the world.” But Rabbi Yaakov Menken, Director of the CJV, said that “Jewish groups should be sharing Rep. Higgins’ video, and celebrating his concern for the safety of the Jewish community and all Americans.”

CJV Senior Rabbinic Fellow Rabbi Steven Pruzansky said that “the congressman is simply getting a raw deal. Everything he said was appropriate.”

In the letter, the rabbis said they were “embarrassed” by those Jews who attacked the Congressman for speaking out from the site of the gas chambers and pledging to protect Americans. The rabbis underscored that many of the legislator’s critics have previously used anti-Semitism as a political cudgel, placing the congressman in what the rabbis described as “good company.”

The letter closed with an expression of “sincere appreciation for your video and your consideration.”

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