(August 27, 2020 / JNS) A synagogue in Kenosha, Wis., was vandalized during demonstrations and riots on Thursday morning.
A reporter for the right-wing news site Townhall posted a video of a Black Lives Matter activist spray-painting the words “Free Palestine” on the driveway of Beth Hillel Temple, a Reform synagogue.
The vandalism took place amid the protests and riots in Kenosha since a black man, Jacob Blake, 29, was shot seven times in the back by police on Sunday as officers attempted to apprehend him over a dispute. Blake is in critical condition, his lawyer told NPR.
Someone from the BLM crowd spray-painted “Free Palestine” in the driveway of the Beth Hillel Temple in Kenosha. pic.twitter.com/sJACaqZlai
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) August 27, 2020
The synagogue’s leader, Rabbi Dena Feingold, felt the vandalism wasn’t representative of the protests.
“We are advocates for justice for all oppressed people. We support the movement for black lives, and we know that one person with a can of spray paint does not speak for an entire cause,” she told JNS. “We pray for Jacob Blake and decry the vigilante murders that took place a block from our synagogue two nights ago. Our call is for justice and peace in our community and around the world.”
On Wednesday, the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation expressed solidarity with the black community and called for unity.
“We believe that all must stand united to rid our communities of systemic racism and its toxic effects because it puts black lives at risk, including black and brown Jewish lives, and harms us all,” the organization told JNS in a statement. “Our pursuit of justice is guided by the Jewish principle of pikuach nefesh, which places the sanctity of life above all else. Government policies, practices and policing must be guided by this shared value.”
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.