Letter to the Editor: Anti-Jewish hate must stop

Dear Editor,

I am writing as a concerned Jewish resident of Newton, deeply rattled by the wave of anti-Jewish hate sweeping the world, the country, and yes, our own city of Newton.

Most of us are aware of such incidents as rocks being thrown through people’s windows, swastikas drawn on school bathroom walls, and posters of hostages torn and desecrated. All of these actions are meant to silence and intimidate.

Appalled, I felt moved to reach out to a few of our local Newton churches, with the request that they place a Stand Against Anti-Semitism sign on their property. It seemed to me that churches have a unique opportunity to express their solidarity with Jews; doing so publicly would communicate intolerance of anti-Jewish hate in a uniquely powerful way. I enjoyed several lovely conversations with kind and empathic church representatives, but only one person accepted a sign. Unfortunately, I have learned that condemning anti-Semitism is apparently conflated with support for Israel’s policy in Gaza, or with hostility toward the Muslim community – not at all the intention of a Stand Against Anti-Semitism message.

I write this in the hope that all of us unite in expressing an absolute and unconditional rejection of anti-Jewish hate in all of its manifestations.

Rhoda Grill