Sisterhood Blog

Anti-Semitism In My Own Back Yard

By Johnna Kaplan

Getty Images

When I woke up last week it seemed the local (that is, Connecticut) news was full of stories about unlikely dangers in our midst. First there were moose, bears and other wild animals prowling the streets. And then there were anti-Semites.

I’d seen a few articles about the ADL’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents for 2011 when it was released almost two weeks ago, and noticed that it found acts of anti-Semitism were down by 13% nationally but up in my state as well as in neighboring Massachusetts. But for whatever reason — upcoming election? devastating super-storm? rocket attacks on southern Israel? — it didn’t seem like the most pressing of news stories over the following week.

But when the Audit belatedly reached some Connecticut papers (here and here), I couldn’t avoid it any longer. One incident, involving a swastika spray-painted on a synagogue, happened in the town where my parents live. Another, in which a young Jewish child was told by a classmate, “Your family deserves to be killed,” took place in a bucolic town ironically known in Colonial days as the “Parish of Judea.”

In some parts of Connecticut it seems every third person is Jewish. Other places in the state once had many Jews; their names can be seen fading on the brick walls of erstwhile dry goods stores. These places have mostly retained just enough Jews to keep a shul or two open, just enough so that no one finds us strange. In the less populated areas, Jews are more exotic. Revealing your Jewishness there can feel like pulling a rare tropical bird out of your handbag.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: sisterhood, jewish women, connecticut jews, anti-semitism, audit of anti-semitic incidents 2011, anti semitism




Find us on Facebook!
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.