Signs of hatred

Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Juneau is a community that takes care of its own. Last week, late at night, swastikas and white supremacist slogans were painted on several cars downtown. The police department does not believe the incident was targeted at particular individuals, but the Jewish community was very disturbed to see signs of such hatred here in our home.

Today is Rosh Hashanah, one of the two holiest days of the year. It is the start of the new year on the Jewish calendar - a sweet holiday marked by singing and celebration with community and family.

The Jewish community will not let the actions of a few people with hate in their souls spoil our celebration of the ancient holiday. More wonderful still is that our neighbors won't either. Our friends at Northern Light Church have offered to attend our service in solidarity. I thank them and welcome them as they have welcomed us throughout the years, hosting a community that does not yet have a building of its own. Many other churches and congregations have reached out to us over the years, and we thank them all.

This year our Rosh Hashanah joy will be tinged with sorrow for the senseless deaths of last week. Our prayers will turn to those in pain and fear, and to the strength and health of our nation. But we will not be afraid.

When communities of faith stand together against those who would break us down, we are all stronger. And by supporting one another - whether in times of sadness, joy, or a combination - we strengthen our community, our future and our faith.

Jesse Kiehl

Board member,

Juneau Jewish Community

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