A Montana Synagogue has asked local police for protection from threats by Nazi groups. Some see this as related to an increase in anti-Semitic activities since Donald Trump’s election.
The Billings Gazette has reported that the Har Shalom synagogue in Missoula Montana has been under police protection after it requested help. The Jewish community in the city is concerned after people spread Nazi propaganda in the area. The Gazette further reported that the propaganda was not limited to attacks on Jews.
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The synagogue’s rabbi, Laurie Franklin, shared the following in a post on social media:
“Yes, it’s unsettling to know that there are pro-Nazi sympathizers in the neighborhood. Further, we have heard troubling reports, both local and national, about incidents of intimidation, harassment, and vandalism directed towards Jews, Muslims, Hispanics and blacks that occurred immediately after Tuesday’s election. Our congregation members spent an hour together before services on Friday in a sacred listening circle, attentively hearing each others’ concerns. I invite you to get in touch this week if you want to talk.”
Rabbi Franklin also shared the following encouraging news about the moral support which her congregation has received from the local community.
“Here’s the good news: when the story broke on Saturday, I began to receive supportive phone calls and emails from our friends in the area. Pastors, leaders, and others from our interfaith community were deeply troubled by the news and reached out. Complete strangers wrote to say that they want to help us. For example, we found a bouquet of flowers at our congregation’s front door on Saturday, and a couple from Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Bonner dropped off a fragrant apple pie for the Dances of Universal Peace. The Dances were heavily attended Saturday night, and people lingered long after to talk and visit.”
While Har Shalom did not directly receive any of the Nazi leaflets which circulated in the area, it was disconcerting for any Jewish community to see such things.
Now people everywhere are taking a wait and see approach as such acts have increased since Donald Trump won the election last week.