The rise of anti-Semitic hate crimes in the U.S. is frightening. We have seen its terrible consequences in New York, California and Pittsburgh, among other places.
The New York Times reported earlier this month that anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles were poised to hit an 18-year high. But it’s not just large cities where concerns are growing. Across the country — actually, across the world — anti-Semitic acts are proliferating.
We can understand why synagogues are taking steps to protect themselves, including in the Quad-Cities.
This week, the group One Human Family QCA is launching another approach to confronting this wave of anti-Semitism. It is encouraging people across the Quad-Cities to wear a kippah, also known as a yarmulke, for a day in order to show concern for the Jewish community.
The idea, organizers say, is to encourage all of us to stand up for those who are vulnerable to such intolerance.
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The group is encouraging people to pick up a free kippah at 7 p.m. Thursday at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 2136 Brady St., Davenport, and then wear it on Friday — to work, school, in public. Everywhere.
People are invited to a Shabbat celebration at Temple Emanuel, 1115 Mississippi Ave., Davenport, at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
We are told this is the first of a series of events the group is planning to confront racism and bigotry. Other initiatives are being planned.
"If we are going to address this disease, we can’t just stand up for ourselves; we have to stand up for each other," Rabbi Henry Karp, one of the founders of the group, told us the other day.
He’s right. The way to counter those who threaten others is to stand with those who are threatened. And it’s not enough to just to say that we believe in the rights of vulnerable people to live without fear. We should make it clear, through our actions, to our friends, neighbors, co-workers and community that we are with them.
Wearing a kippah is a great way to start.