Synagogue Wants To Meet Vandal

| November 20, 2009

A Carmichael jewish temple vandalized last week when someone spray painted hateful and hurtful images on the temple is taking a big step to heal.

The congregation is thanking the community for helping wash away the hurtful images on the temple. The synagogue is also not retaliating, but fighting back prejudice with a different method.

Rabbi Nancy Wechsler-Azen with Beth Shalom says she's turning images of hate into a chance to bring her entire community together. She says "it's not just one synagogue, its not just one jewish community..we are so connected with the other faith communities as well".

She's starting by breaking bread inside the synagogue with people of all religions from the near-by neighborhood. It's an image of togetherness they want to show to whoever tried to desecrate their temple – you're not going to win and not going to tear down their hope.

And this isn't the first time Beth Shalom has been hit with vandalism, there's a history of hate toward those who worship inside. Rabbi Nancy says "10-years ago before I was in service here it was a really bad night when 3-synagogues were violated all at once".

Still the congregation that's faced so many hateful challenges wants a face to face with the vandal..not to fight, but to heal.

The Rabbi says "we can find a way to communicate that he could see who we are and we could see who he is and there could be healing".,0,2530152.story

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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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