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Important Message from Rabbi Justin David and Rabbi Riqi Kosovske

11/06/2020 01:28:53 PM

Nov6

Rabbi Justin David



Dear Friends,

This morning, we learned from the Northampton Police Department that three stickers were placed on a building in downtown Northampton.  All stickers had the tag “NSC 131 Zone,” which is code for the Nationalist Social Club, a recognized hate group, and at least one of the stickers bore the image of a swastika.   
 
The police are considering this as an act of targeted vandalism and are pursuing an investigation. The police did not provide details about the exact location of the building or the targeted organization, but have indicated that they plan to share more information as the investigation progresses. We will share all updated information from the police as soon as we hear anything.

As a Jewish community, such actions engender a feeling of heightened vulnerability.  Each of our synagogues is discussing the security measures we will take in the days ahead.  On a personal level, especially during this time of uncertainty, we of course would be honored to connect with you to listen and talk, and think about how we transform fear to purpose and action.

We also believe that this is a moment for broader communal solidarity, knowing that neo-Nazi groups target an array of organizations that serve immigrants and asylum seekers, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color), Muslims, and people who are LGBTQ+.  When we know more details, we will stand with those who were explicitly targeted in this act of vandalism.  By doing so, we will show that hatred has no place in our community as we give voice to what Rabbi Akiva called the grand principle of the Torah, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

We are sorry to share this news, especially so close to Shabbat, but we are grateful for our vibrant community and hopeful we will emerge from this time with greater compassion and strength,

Shabbat Shalom,

 

Rabbi Justin David
Congregation B'nai Israel

Rabbi Riqi Kosovske
Beit Ahavah Reform Synagogue of Greater Northampton

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Thu, December 3 2020 17 Kislev 5781