Connecting Jewish Tulsa

Jewish Community Statement

During a recent Tahlequah Public Forum, a constituent asked Senator Tom Woods of Oklahoma about legislation targeting 2SLGBTQ+ rights in response to the tragic death of nonbinary Owasso student Nex Benedict. Senator Woods responded with, “We are a religious state. We are a religious state and we are going to fight to keep that filth out of the state of Oklahoma because we are a Christian state — we are a moral state.”

Statements like these, made by one of the highest civil officials in the state, claim that Oklahoma is religiously homogeneous and the Christian faith is superior to all other faith and secular groups. We would like to underscore that a significant Jewish population is present in the State of Oklahoma. Moreover, we wish for the Senator to respect the rich religious diversity that exists in Oklahoma, including thousands of Muslims, Buddhists, Baha’i, Hindu, Sikh, and a multitude of Native American, non-believers, and other religious groups.

We ask for Senator Woods and all members of Oklahoma’s congress to recognize the danger of imposing religious beliefs on others. Senators have an obligation to equally serve all Oklahoma constituents – regardless of their religious beliefs, non-beliefs, race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability.

In order to continue to build bridges of understanding, we encourage all public servants

of Oklahoma to recognize the difference between religious and civil authority as underscored in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. The State of Oklahoma is—and always will be— a religiously diverse community. Maintaining those boundaries is a key tenet of freedom, liberty, and democracy.


Stan Khrapak, Chair

Community Relations Committee, Jewish Federation of Tulsa

Michael Weinstein, Senior Rabbi

Temple Israel

Daniel Kaiman, Principal Rabbi

Congregation B’nai Emunah