UPDATED: Police Investigating Hate Crime at Framingham Temple

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Last updated at 3:03 p.m.

FRAMINGHAM – Framingham Police are investigating a hate crime at a Framingham temple.

A couple of swastikas were etched into the sign at Temple Beth Sholom on Pamela Road in Framingham., said Framingham Police spokesperson Lt. Rachel Mickens.

The hate crime was reported this morning, September 9, and police are still investigating. The police report was not available at this time.

This week was the start of the high holy days in the Jewish faith. The Jewish New Year began at sundown on September 6.

Rabbi Allison Poirier informed the congregation about the hate crime in an email this morning.

“It is extremely troubling to discover a symbol of animosity toward the Jewish community in the midst of our high holiday season. The swastika represents a tragic and deadly chapter in our people’s history and is not to be taken lightly. I hope the perpetrator who carved this hateful symbol can understand the horrific images they have conjured for many of our community, including members of Temple Beth Sholom who are themselves survivors of the Holocaust,” said the Rabbi in a statement to SOURCE.

The Temple is also the home of the MetroWest Jewish Day School.

“I’m saddened to see this demonstration of hate in our community. As human beings we should be able to count on one another for love, support, and encouragement and frankly, we should not accept anything less. Actions like this lead us to question our faith in humanity, yet we must use these moments to both denounce these hateful actions while also seizing the educational opportunity that comes when we raise awareness and find restorative ways to heal. This is not who we are in Framingham and we must hold each other accountable to be better human beings,” said Framingham Superintendent of Schools Bob Tremblay.

“I am disgusted by this event, and offer my sympathy and empathy to all those impacted directly.  In reality we are all impacted when things like this happen in the community and I am stunned that it happens at all.  It is a very sad day for Framingham,” said City Council Chair George P. King Jr.

““I can confirm that a swastika was discovered on the walkway of Temple Beth Sholom on Pamela Road around 10:30 a.m. today, and it is under investigation,” said Mayor Yvonne M. Spicer, in a statement after 1 p.m. issued by the City’s Chief Information Officer Kelly McFalls. “Of course, this saddens me. Hate has no place in Framingham. Police officers already regularly patrol our Temples, and that effort will continue.”

“I was very saddened this morning to learn about the vandalism of the the Temple Beth Sholom sign. I reached out to Rabbi Poirier at Temple Beth Sholom, and other members of the temple community to express my concern about this hateful act. This is especially distressing that this happened at this time when we celebrate the holiest period of the Jewish religion,” said Charlie Sisitsky, a mayoral candidate. “It is important to be constantly vigilant to ensure that hateful acts like this do not happen to any members of our community, and that we, as members of this community, speak out against any acts of intolerance and hatred. I wish all those who celebrate, a safe and healthy holiday season and I encourage all of our friends and neighbors throughout our city to strive to be more tolerant of others and embrace acts of love and peace over hatred and violence and destruction.”

“We are also secure in the knowledge that this does not represent the sentiment of the Framingham community at large. We are proud of our place in this community and we value our relationships with our neighbors of all religions,” said Rabbi Poirier. “We are a vibrant and resilient community, and we have no intention of letting someone’s ignorant malice dampen the sweetness of our new year.”

“This is a definitive statement of hate and anti-Semitism, and needs to be unanimously condemned and rejected,’ said Framingham School Committee Chair Adam Freudberg. “Continuous support, anti-hate and anti-bias education, and bringing our community together is what we need to ingrain into our hearts and minds. I support Rabbi Poirier, the Temple Beth Sholom community, and city, as together we all seek healing and resiliency.”

“I am deeply saddened to learn of this anti-Semitic vandalism at Temple Beth Sholom.  My heart goes out to members of Temple Beth Sholom and to families at the MetroWest Jewish Day School,” said State Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis. “While statements like, “Hate Has No Home Here” and “This isn’t our community” are powerful ways to combat bigotry, as a community we must do more.  Hate exists in our community.  Hate has deep roots in our community.  We have a moral obligation not to ignore or even pacify that hate, but instead to be the exact community those who wish to do us harm most fear- a community where all our lives are respected, all of our faiths are celebrated, and all take responsibility for serving and supporting one another.” 

“Acts of hatred towards one community in Framingham is a crime of injustice for everyone.  I stand with the Temple Beth Sholom community and reaffirm my commitment to confronting different forms of racism within our city. As a school district, we must diligently work to ensure a fostering of mutual understanding, sympathy, and solidarity within our classrooms. As individuals, we need to identifying opportunities where we can do more to educate ourselves on the historic and ongoing systemic racism that exists in our city so that we can be better allies. We must stand together, united in combating and denouncing these deplorable acts in our city,” said Framingham School Committee Vice Chair Tiffanie Maskell.

“I honestly don’t know if I am saddened or sickened but this hate crime,” said Councilor Janet Leombruno. “This is zero reflection of us as a community but clearly there is more work to do.”

“This was a disgraceful and cowardly act of anti-Semitism and has no place in Framingham or anywhere. The sad fact is that anti-Semitism is alive and well all over the world – even in Framingham. The best way to counter its pernicious tendrils is to call it out when it occurs, punish those responsible, and take an active and aggressive stance against bigotry of all kinds in all arenas of daily life,” said City Council Vice Chair Adam Steiner. “I grew up attending Hebrew school at Temple Beth Sholom and was taught by so wonderful teachers that included Holocaust survivors so I am especially sickened about this act of cowardice and have reached out to Rabbi Poirier to offer my support to her and the entire Beth Sholom community.”

“I am very disappointed to see something like this happen in Framingham. In these moments, it is important that we all come together to show support and solidarity for those at Temple Beth Sholom. I know that this one person does not represent the community of Framingham, but this is a strong reminder that hate still exists in our society,” said Framingham Mayoral candidate Carlos Valadares. “The fight against bias and racism is never ending. We must constantly remain aware, and work to fight the root causes of such ignorance. I’ve always known Framingham to be a welcoming place to anyone who moves here, it takes us all to keep it that way.”

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