Brattleboro Area Jewish Community

Congregation Shir Heharim

Yom Rishon, 28 Av 5777

From the President


Shortly after the Presidential Election of November 8, I had a disturbing experience. I posted on Facebook linking to an article in Tablet magazine about anti-Semitic graffiti popping up all over the USA since the election.  Some of the graffiti involves swastikas and a variety of unmentionable comments. What bothers me even more than the graffiti was a comment by a friend of a friend. He wrote, “Whatever happened to freedom of speech? You may not agree, but it’s part of what makes this country great.” I replied, “Freedom of speech does not allow you to deface other people's private property. A huge difference! Fly any flag you want on your own property. I will fully support your right to do so. But vandalizing public or other private property is a crime all by itself, regardless of the content.”

Read more: From the President December 2016


Oxford Dictionaries named “post-truth” as 2016's International Word of the Year. What does this mean for BAJC, tucked away up here in Southern Vermont? How are we to think about the diminishing relevance of, and even outright hostility toward, truth, accuracy, and reality? What do Jews have to offer a world that appears bent on neutralizing and even eliminating truth as a causal element in our society?

Read more: From the President ~ January 2017