These past two weeks have brought worry and discouragement as hateful acts of anti-Semitism and racism have undercut our values with incidents at the high school and at a local temple. 

Repulsion at the actions of an individual shouting horrific things outside West Suburban Temple Har Zion, at an OPRF student using technology to spread the image of a swastika during an assembly, at unknown perpetrators who defiled a building on the OPRF campus with racist and anti-Semitic claptrap and an implied threat against an activist teacher.

We share the discouragement and the worry. These are attitudes we had long considered well submerged in our progressive hometowns. Not eradicated but marginalized to the extent such ignorance would not be publicly proclaimed. 

Given the cover provided by social media, the rise of Trump and by the increasing determination we see in these towns to forcefully address issues of inequity, it is not stunning to see this response. What is essential and gratifying is to see the strong and immediate response to these threats. A Sabbath gathering at the temple which drew hundreds from across the faith community. A march led by OPRF students on Sunday to demand safety and support for all. The immediate response by OPRF’s superintendent and board president to call all students together to address this hate.

This is a community rising to reject the fear that spawns the hate. And it makes us proud.

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