Letter: Antisemitic, anti-Israel attacks in Newton must stop

To our Newton friends and neighbors,

We are writing in order to speak together in one voice, to decry the uptick in threatening behaviors directed against those among us who publicly express their solidarity with the State of Israel.

We recognize the diversity of views about the war currently being waged in Gaza.

Our hearts go out to all who are suffering.

At the same time, we insist that each and every one of us be free to express their views without fear of reprisal of any kind. We cherish the right of all of us to speak openly and freely; that is the lifeblood of every democracy. It is deeply concerning to us that so many of our Jewish neighbors can no longer do so without concern for their safety.

We recently learned of an incident of a rock being thrown through a window in which a Boston Strong/Israel Strong sign was displayed. The stealing and defacing of hostage posters and of “I Stand With Israel” signs adds to this atmosphere of intimidation.

We call for the end of all such behaviors and are grateful that our Mayor and our Chief of Police are committed to enforcing the law, including the law against hate crimes, anywhere, anytime, wherever applicable.

We look forward to a time when dialogue and peaceful coexistence replace acts of aggression and intimidation.


The Rev. Dr. Kenneth F. Baily, Newton Highlands, past president, NICA

Rev. Cheryl Kerr, Senior Minister United Parish of Auburndale, Chair NICA

Rev. Richard Chrisman, formerly Interim at Eliot UCC Newton.

Rev. Dr. Wayne Earl, Interim Minister Eliot Church of Newton

Rev. Xinyu Li, Lincoln Park Baptist Church

Rev. Tom Reid, Newton Presbyterian Church

Rev. Kari Jo Verhulst, Lutheran Church of the Newtons

Fr. Dan Riley, Pastor of Sacred Heart & Our Lady’s Catholic Churches

Rev. Jana Yeaton, First Baptist Church

Rev. Devlin Scott, NewCity Church, NICA

Rev. Todd L. Miller, Trinity Parish of Newton Centre

Rev. Dr. David A. Killian, Grace Church

Rev. Megan Berkowitz, Union Church in Waban

Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, President, Hebrew College

Rabbi Toba Spitzer, Dorshei Tsedek

Rabbi Gershon Segal, Congregation Beth El Atereth Israel

Rabbi Benjamin Samuels, Congregation Shaarie Tefilah

Rabbi Wesley Gardenswartz, Temple Emanuel

Rabbi Michelle Robinson, Temple Emanuel

Rav Hazzan Aliza Berger, Temple Emanuel

Hazzan Elias Rosenberg, Temple Emanuel

Mayor Ruthanne Fuller

Senator Cynthia Creem

Representative Kay Khan

Representative Ruth B. Balser,

City Council President Marc Laredo

City Councilor Alan Lobovits

City Councilor Stephen Farrell

City Councilor David Micley

City Councilor David Kalis

City Councilor Andreae Downs

City Councilor Josh Krintzman

City Councilor Martha Bixby

City Councilor Tarik Lucas

City Councilor Susan Albright

City Councilor Julia Malakie

City Councilor Bill Humphrey

City Councilor Rick Lipof

City Councilor Vicki Danberg

City Councilor Pam Wright

City Councilor Lisle Baker

City Councilor Randy Block

City Councilor Lenny Gentile

City Councilor Rebecca Walker Grossman

City Councilor Andrea Kelley