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Weston responds to anti-Semitic hate crime at Field School with community discussions

Danielle Feinstein and Lizzie Racklin

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In today’s political climate, concern about hate crimes has increased as reported incidents from around the country have been more frequent in recent months. Victims of these crimes have included a diverse group of minorities, including people of color, Muslim Americans, immigrants, the LGBT population, and Jewish Americans.

Weston has been one of the hundreds of communities that has reported these crimes, which have risen 86% in the months following Trump’s election according to a CNN report in April.

In an ongoing dialogue that began with an anti-Semitic graffiti incident at Field School, members of the Weston community, the Weston Police Department, the Weston Wayland Interfaith group and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) held a two hour discussion in the Weston Public Library on April 27. The discussion was titled ‘Discrimination: Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Racism. What can be done to foster understanding of the ‘other’: and why that understanding is crucial to a democratic society.’

“Were going to have to find a process to fix our differences that isn’t just based on winning the argument,” Andrew Tarsy, the former director of the ADL of New England, said during the panel discussion.

Temple Beth Elohim of Wellesley is one of the largest reform synagogues in the Boston area, with over 1,200 families, many who are Weston residents.

Rabbi Joel Sisewine of Beth Elohim said the temple is a safe place for all people in the wake of these incidents.

“During times like these, it is important for people of all faiths and beliefs to come together and support the affected community,” Rabbi Sisewine  said. “Unfortunately, there has been an increase in reported anti-Semitic hate crimes across the globe in recent months. We try to educate members of our community to embrace their Jewish identity, as well as embrace the differences in others.”


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Weston responds to anti-Semitic hate crime at Field School with community discussions