Dear TBC Community,
I am writing to let you know that racist and antisemitic graffiti has once again been found in Ridgefield. This afternoon, Rabbi David Reiner, my colleague at Congregation Shir Shalom, called to make sure that I knew about this morning's incident. From my conversation with Rabbi Reiner, my subsequent conversation with the Ridgefield Police Department, and from what has already been reported in the local press, I understand that there were multiple racist and antisemitic symbols and slurs found on the stage in Ballard Park this morning.
The Ridgefield Police Department has documented the graffiti and the incident is under investigation. They explained to me that the graffiti did not include any specific threats to either TBC or Congregation Shir Shalom.
I have already reached out to Chief Fuchs from the Redding Police Department and to the director of the Connecticut Region of the Anti-Defamation League to make sure that they are aware of the situation and to ask if there is anything that we should be doing in response to this incident.
If and when I receive any new information, I will share it with you. In the meantime, I want to remind all of us that our tradition teaches us that words have power- after all, the first chapter of Genesis tells us that God created the universe just by speaking.
When we look around, we can see the darkness and the light that have existed since that first day. All too often, it can appear as if the darkness is overpowering the light, but that is not the way it has to be. We have the both the ability and the responsibility to use our words and our actions to bring more light, more balance back to our community, our country, and our world. And, in the words of our prayer book, "...the winding way to that promise passes through the wilderness. [And] there is no way to get from here to there except by joining hands [and] marching together."
Please reach out to me if you would like to speak about this incident or anything else.
B'vrachah (with blessings),
Rabbi Rachel Bearman