#antisemitism at Temple B'nai Abraham in Beverly last weekend. Learn more on our Facebook page. #vandalism
Anti-Semitic Graffiti at Temple B'nai Abraham-Conservative
The words “Merry Christmas” and a dollar sign were spray-painted in green on the back walls of Temple B’nai Abraham in Beverly on Saturday night, May 21. The police were called immediately, according to Rabbi Alison Adler.
“We see this as an opportunity to deal with larger underlying issues,” said Rabbi Adler of the possible hate crime. “We want to have a community conversation with the ADL about anti-Semitism because I don't think it’s just about this.” That conversation will be held at the temple and moderated by the Anti-Defamation League on June 2.
According to president Alan Peirce, a non-temple member was at TBA on Saturday night to pick up some materials and he saw the graffiti, took a picture of it and sent it to a friend who then posted it on Facebook. As a result the event became public before the Temple was informed and had a chance to decide how to respond.
The non-temple member called Executive Director Deborah Schutzman upon finding the graffiti, and according to the police report submitted by Officer Michael Backstrom of the Beverly Police Department (BPD), Schutzman called it in to the police.
Crime Analyst and Operations Officer Michael A. Boccuzzi of the BPD displayed evidence of other vandalism in the area within three days of each other. “Hokey is better” was spray-painted in red across a Beverly basketball court. “I h8t kids and don't do drugs” was spray-painted on the Sea Wall, along with “Salem 16” and some vulgarity regarding Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, along with other crude language.
“I don't believe they were done by the same people,” said Officer Boccuzzi, despite the fact that in each instance, red, green, or black spray paint was used with what appears to be similar handwriting. Over a three-day span, there were several “tagging” events in a half-mile area.
"It's probably a seven on the Richter scale of stupid," said president Pierce. "It's hateful, it's hurtful, and it's something that needs to wake up the community as to why this happens."
The vandalism was immediately painted over. “There are some people that are very upset… they wanted to leave it up there,” said president Pierce. “We covered it over but we didn't intend to cover it up,” he added. Rabbi Adler appeared distraught, defending the decision to paint over the vandalism. “I don't want to walk into the building and see that,” she said.
Rabbi Adler and president Pierce met with Mayor Mike Cahill on Monday, May 23 to discuss the anti-Semitic incident. A photo and a response from Rabbi Adler and president Pierce were posted on the TBA website.
The response said, “As far as hate crimes go, this ranks up there with “stupid” rather than vile… But it hits home.”
The vandalism gives the community a chance to have an honest conversation, in Rabbi Adler’s mind. “People have fears. I mean I do, I’m up at night worrying about what we’re sending our kids into,” said Rabbi Adler. She sees this as a signal to have a larger conversation about anti-Semitism that is happening in the larger community.
Rabbi Adler believes that the community should talk about this event in the context of anti-Semitism in our country. “It’s an over due conversation in some ways, and this is a trigger.” And Alan Pierce added, “And it’s too bad it took a trigger.”
Looking for Shabbat services? You are in luck. Chabad of North Shore is holding Shabbat services in not one but TWO locations the weekend of May 13-May14. It may be the first time two shuls partnered on a Shabbat - but don't quote us on that.
Erev Shabbat, May 13th, please join us in Everett:
Congregation Tifereth Israel
34 Malden Street, Everett, MA
Shabbat Dinner Prepared by Chef Dovi Weiner
Shabbat Morning Services, May 14, please join us in Chelsea:
Walnut Street Synagogue, Congregation Agudas Shalom.
145 Walnut Street, Chelsea, MA
A Kiddush meal to follow services..you know the drill!
The Jewish Daily Forward Chabad of the North Shore Hipster Jew The Vilna Shul, Boston's Center for Jewish Culture Discover Chelsea City of Chelsea MA -Government Jewish Journal MA
#shabbat #shabbos #chelsea #everett #northshorechabad #jewishboston
Special Guest Presentation by Dr. Itzhak Brook:
The Yom Kippur War and the Role of Hadassah Medical Organization
A Seder In Simferopol
By Cindy Skrzycki
I was at a table of 20 or so family and friends for the first night of Passover. There were the traditional, beloved prayers, blessings and thanks for liberation. The bitter and the sweet. The communal Seder. I am no stranger to this: It was probably my 35th year at a Seder table.
My daughter, a first-year rabbinic student, is in Crimea where she is a stranger and can’t communicate without a translator. But, with another Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion classmate, she helped conduct and Seders for Jewish communities in Crimea. Called the Pesach Project, students from HUC studying in Israel annually raise money for this trip and fan out to Belarus, Ukraine and Crimea. This year, after a class visit to Lithuania, she headed to Simferopol, Yevpatoria, Kerch and Sevastopol.
There were multiple Seders and much of a day was spent planting a tree alongside a highway and memorial where Jews faced mass execution. They walked the field, trying to imagine the horror that lay below their feet. There was a meeting with the Russian Jewish Youth Congress in Simferopol, a place where there are no rabbis. With translators, they will led educational programs and learned a new culture, seeing the remnants of life in the former Soviet Union.
That’s what is on the official schedule but some of the real learning has already taken place--for my daughter, the aspiring rabbi, and for me, her Catholic mother.
In one very broken up conversation with my daughter, she talked about experiencing the emptiness of standing in a shell of an old synagogue in Lithuania. The walls were peeling; dust and mildew prevailed in a building more than 100 years old that could tell stories.
Worlds apart, yet the same prayers, same plagues, same questions.
As the Catholic in the family, I have taken the Passover holiday for what it is—an intense, quick escape from Egyptian masters who used Jews for slaves. Christians note the meal but never celebrate it. There is deliberation about whether this is Jesus keeping Passover in Jerusalem.
Whatever you believe, the most remarkable thing about this time is the lengths to which Jews will go to have everyone at the Seder table—even non-Jews. President Obama’s Seder table in the White House was celebrated national news.
Many Christians who get invited to a Seder wonder at the complexity and length of this meal and why matzot suddenly becomes the center of the Jewish diet.
It’s not so different in Crimea. They try to get everyone to come to the table and the Jewish community there considers the visitors role models. They want help from the visiting students and they want to show that women can be rabbis and that rabbis are needed.
The visit comes as welcome relief to the Jews in Simferopol who don’t have a synagogue and rely on a young woman of 25 to handle questions about tradition and ritual. She's learning what it means to be a rabbi, and finding it isn't a bowl of charoset, the apple, walnut and wine concoction scarfed up at Passover.
But when the students completed visits to the the Holocaust memorials, Orthodox Shabbat services, and the preservation of a shtetl and synagogues that were spared, they were ready to celebrate multiple times the meal that marks freedom. What better place to proclaim this?
The bitter herbs had a bit more of an edge this year, remembering Jews who could not pray from the Haggadah and ask the Four Questions under Soviet oppression. Now as a progressive Jewish culture begins to flower in those places, the prayers, food and open community celebrating liberation seems sweeter for the students and the communities they visited.
So, as I sat as a guest in an observant home, I thought about how this holiday should be marked in Crimea, as everywhere else: “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance.”
For this group of student rabbis, cantors and educators, next year is not likely to be in Crimea. This learning and service excursion might, however, give another meaning to Passover in that the story of liberation is read differently in every part of the world where Jews live.
-Cindy Skrzycki, a former Washington Post columnist, is senior lecturer in the English Department of the University of Pittsburgh.
Hadassah Author Series Features Joanna Rakoff, Author of "My Salinger Year"
Hadassah Northeast hosted a 2016 Author Series presentation featuring the novel, "My Salinger Year" with author Joanna Rakoff on Thursday, April 14. After leaving graduate school to pursue her dream of becoming a poet, Rakoff took a job as assistant to the storied literary agent for J.D. Salinger. Keenly observed and irresistibly funny, "My Salinger Year" is a memoir about literary New York in the late nineties.
During her presentation, Rakoff discussed how a long weekend of reading all of Salinger’s books was a turning point in her life. Salinger’s books “made me grow up and become less judgmental . . . I was humbled and more open to all sorts of literature.”
Featured from left to right in the photograph are Hadassah Boston President Varda E. Farber, Author Joanna Rakoff, and Hadassah Northern New England President Rhonda Saunders.