Bap­tist ex­trem­ists tar­get syn­a­gogues

The Jewish Chronicle - - World News - BY PAUL BERGER NEW YORK

MEM­BERS OF one of Amer­ica’s most re­viled re­li­gious groups, West­boro Bap­tist Church, pick­eted two New York shuls in the run up to Yom Kip­pur.

A group of West­boro con­gre­gants, in­clud­ing young chil­dren, bran­dished signs last Satur­day that in­cluded slo­gans such as “Jews Stole The Land”, “God Hates Jews” and “The Jews killed Je­sus”.

The West­boro Bap­tist Church’s mes­sage of hate is usu­ally aimed at ho­mo­sex­u­als. It pick­ets sol­diers’ funer­als, claim­ing that mil­i­tary deaths are god’s pu­n­ish­ment for Amer­ica’s ac­cep­tance of ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity.

Church mem­bers briefly protested out­side the Kane Street Syn­a­gogue, in Cob­ble Hill, Brook­lyn. They be­gan the day at Con­gre­ga­tion Beth Elo­him, in nearby Park Slope, where they were out­num­bered by more than 100 counter-pro­test­ers.

Stand­ing on the syn­a­gogue steps, Rabbi Andy Bach­man told the crowd: “Be­cause we all wor­ship the god of jus­tice we know we are not per­fect, but we al­ways strive to do what is right… I call upon you, in the name of the god of jus­tice and of tol­er­ance, to call out the an­cient word of our peo­ple, tekiah.”

Rabbi Bach­man blew the sho­far. Later, they drowned out the West­boro chants by singing Oseh Shalom and Havah Nag­i­lah and danc­ing the Ho­rah.

Demon­stra­tors from the no­to­ri­ous West­boro Bap­tist Church picket Con­gre­ga­tion Beth Elo­him in Brook­lyn last week. They usu­ally tar­get ho­mo­sex­u­als

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