One Year Ago: A Swastika at TBH

Facebook has the feature “On this Day” which shows you what you posted on that day in the past. On December 22, I was reminded of the anniversary of the swastika incident at Temple Beth Hatfiloh. I reposted what I wrote then, and added the following reflection:

This was one year ago today. And the presence and persistence of anti-Semitism has not abated, but in fact gotten stronger. The conditions for hate are ripe. Anti-Semitism is a longstanding hatred, and we Jews have been the “Other” for most of our existence. Anti-Semitism can be an expression of the left or the right, whatever has ailed the society at the time, the Jews have been blamed. And issues of “whiteness” and “privilege” are nuanced and challenging when it comes to the Jews, for while many (and not all, it it important to remember) of us come from Eastern European heritage and found comfort and settledness in this country, it is exactly this “comfort and settledness” that has been a part of anti-Semitic attacks itself, as the Jew has been accused of seeking to assimilate to undermine systems from within, wielding excessive power, and holding onto dual loyalties.

I stand vigilant against such hate, ready to call it out when I see it. I work to ensure a safe environment for the Jewish community that I serve. I seek to create a dynamic, creative, expressive and engaged Jewish community that can withstand any attempts to put us down. And I stand in solidarity with others who are similarly oppressed and the victims of hate, intolerance and violence.

Published by


I am a Rabbi, serving the Jewish community of Olympia, Washington and the surrounding area.

Thanks for continuing the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s