Rabbi Rachel Barenblat shares how it felt to have her synagogue in western Massachusetts graffitied in love. In these troubling times after the Pittsburgh shooting, people from her community decorated the synagogue with signs saying “We Support You,” and notes of love – sending a strong message that she is “surrounded by allies.”
This week as the Jewish community has been reeling from the massacre inside Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, there has been a visible increase in anti-Semitic graffiti around the nation. Hateful graffiti from coast to coast. Swastikas drawn on Jewish homes. “Kill all Jews” scrawled inside of a synagogue.
But in our small semi-rural city of twelve thousand people in the hills of western Massachusetts, we received love graffiti instead.
They hung posters reading “WE SUPPORT YOU,” and cards, and messages of love. They adorned our entryway with cards of support and inspirational quotes. They drew chalk hearts and rainbows and stars on our sidewalk. All so that when we arrived to pray on the Shabbat after the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, we would be greeted by a reminder that our non-Jewish neighbors care about us and want us to feel supported and safe.