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Learning tolerance in the wake of Pueblo synagogue bombing plot

Beyond hate
Posted at 8:22 PM, Nov 05, 2019

COLORADO SPRINGS — The suspect the FBI says was planning to bomb a Jewish synagogue in Pueblo is now behind bars.
Disaster was thwarted, but the incident points to a broader issue of hate and tolerance.

"I was very hurt, I was very upset," said Paulette Greenberg the Cofounder of The Greenberg Center for Learning and Tolerance. The Pueblo incident is the antithesis of what the Greenberg Center promotes. "Promote learning and understanding and acceptance of others and we honor the cultural dignity of others." News of the bombing plot made headlines for a day, the Greenberg Center works for a continuing dialogue that will help stop these types of situations.

The incident in Pueblo can also serve as more than a shocking headline. "Not only is it eye-opening that it's happening, but it's also a great opportunity," said Greenberg Center Program Chair, Will Stoller-Lee. It can invigorate more discussion on acceptance of others with differing views. "I may not agree with you, but I have to respect you for what you feel," said Greenberg.

The counter to ignorance is education. Stoller-Lee says it is learning beyond intellectual pursuit. ."It engages the head and the heart and so I think that sometimes the education that we need is empathy, understanding for somebody that comes from a very different point of view."

The idea of tolerance is also important discussion. Stoller-Lee talks about important distinctions. While there is a need to learn tolerance for others with different backgrounds, opinions and experiences, there are also actions like what happened in Pueblo that can't be tolerated.