Fairfield County gathered at Westport's Jesup Green on June 2 for an event titled "Standing Together Against Antisemitism," uniting against the rise in antisemitism during the recent flare in the Israel/Palestine conflict. The event was organized by the Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County and various local congregations of different religions. Non-Jews and Jews alike of all ages attended in solidarity against hatred and violence.
"Today we've seen acts of antisemitism strikingly close to us in New York City. Let there be no doubt, Antisemitism has no place in our community. We respect our Jewish neighbors and visitors. Westport is an inclusive community that embraces diversity and has always celebrated cultures and different religious beliefs. We continue to respect everyone regardless of their race, creed or ethnic origin. I encourage all in our community to reaffirm these values. During this challenging period, I stand with our friends and neighbors who feel threatened by these terrible activities. Make no mistake, Westport is focused on protecting all residents and visitors." -Jim Marpe, Westport First Selectman
"Silence is acceptance. Anytime we hear someone speak words of hate, and no one is exempt from having ideas like this, we've got to say something. We have to respond quickly to the need of people who are targeted. We have to stand up. You have to be there in person, fighting hate can't be confined to showing up to a rally. We have to be there. We have to make our stand broadly visible. Westport is a community of lawn signs. We're really great about supporting our candidates. Can we be as supportive about [standing against] hate? Finally, we can't back out, we cannot retreat. Antisemitism these days is a little different. It used to be focused from white nationalists and the very far right. We knew who the haters were. Today, we're seeing people who look just like us with a deep antisemitic attitude and nothing drives that home deeper than the surge during the recent hostilities in the Middle East. Think about it, what does a Jew in Fairfield County, Connecticut have to do with any action in the Middle East? In fact, this is a very liberal community. If we speak to the majority of Jews here, chances are, they will agree with criticism of governments on both sides of the conflict. This is not a political issue." -Rabbi Greg Wall of Beit Chaverim in Westport, Connecticut