Standing Up, Speaking Out Against Anti-Semitism

The recent national surge in anti-Semitic acts — including the New York area — has rattled many local Jews.

Then there was one right here in Westport.

A congregant of Beit Chaverim — born in Israel, but a longtime Westporter — arrived home to find eggs splattered on her front door.

In his sermon last weekend, Beit Chaverim’s Rabbi Greg Wall told his Post Road West congregation that the only way to fight what’s happening is to be more visible.

“Keep your yarmulke on,” he said. “If you’re intimidated, the anti-Semites win.”

Rabbi Greg Wall

Noting the importance of community involvement, he adds, “Anti-Semitism is a communal issue. As Jews, we have stood with any group that’s been denied their rights — other religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations. Now we need them to stand publicly with us.”

Working with the other rabbis, including Jeremy Weiderhorn of Westport’s Conservative Synagogue, and Evan Schultz of B’nai Israel in Bridgeport, plus the Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County, they’ve created a very visible event.

Next Wednesday (June 2, 7 p.m.), a “Standing Together Against Anti-Semitism” rally is set for Jesup Green.

Approval came yesterday. Organizers meet this morning to plan the speakers.

Rabbi Wall knows he wants a wide range of voices.

“We hope other faiths will be involved,” he says. “Whenever anything has happened in our community, I’ve gotten support from the imam in Norwalk. I’m sure there will be many people standing with us.”

He thinks about previous rallies on Jesup Green — in the past year alone, for Black Lives Matter and against Asian-American violence — and shakes his head.

“Hate effects everyone. I look forward to a time when we won’t need rallies like this.”

(If you can’t attend, you can participate online. Click here to register.)

11 responses to “Standing Up, Speaking Out Against Anti-Semitism

  1. I find it repeatedly disconcerting that the voices of Muslim-Americans have been omitted from these conversations and posts. Granted, there are no Mosques in Westport per se that I know of, but there are several in Norwalk, Bridgeport and Stamford, and to 06880’s credit, the outpouring of gratitude from local Islamic leaders to Westport’s political officers and first responders at the end of Ramadan was duly noted here. Remember people, there are two sides to every story.

  2. Richard Jaffee

    The Jewish community was very supportive during BLM rallies. I hope we see our black neighbors showing support during this trying time for Jews and Israel.

  3. David A. Cleveland

    And who are the most vocal supporters of hamas. The 2 Muslims in congress. And who helped get them elected. Obama

  4. Harris M. Falk

    Dan,
    The correct spelling is antisemitism.
    No hyphen and no capital S.

  5. In September 2019, after several swastikas were found at Staples, along with other antisemitic graffiti, there was a well-attended event hosted at Jesup Green. I believed it was organized by Darcy Hicks and I was grateful for it as it let some members of the Jewish community here in Westport know we are indeed part of the community.

    I may have not expressed it then to her, but I’m extraordinarily grateful to Darcy for organizing that event. Westport is truly a wonderful community, one enriched by many different cultures and views almost always expressed in a thoughtful, civil manner. There will be passionate people with informed and varied views on a very complex situation in the middle-east, I only hope that others share our desire to keep these views from taking on a violent approach seen elsewhere.

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