A series of anti-Jewish incidents have hit the Boston suburb of Bedford, Mass. in the past few months, leaving the town looking for ways to build bridges and educate the community.
In the most recent occurrence, a game called "Jail the Jews" took place at two elementary schools. Police say they are also investigating graffiti of swastikas that were found at Bedford High School and hate speech written on gym equipment at one of the local elementary schools.
In addition, Jewish children have reported fellow classmates uttering discriminatory comments. One child reportedly said a peer told her they would destroy her country because she is Jewish. Another child was told she could not have a cracker because she did not believe in Jesus. When discussing the difference between Christmas and Hanukkah, some students were reported to have said Jews were responsible for killing Jesus.
Superintendent Jon Sills held multiple events with community members in recent days to address the problem, including a meeting with 200 people from Temple Isaiah.
On Thursday, more than 300 people attended a forum at John Glenn Middle School to discuss ways they could involve local community organizations to address the issue.
Bedford resident Dan Brosgol told The Stream that a point brought up at the community meeting was "tolerance is not enough."
He added, "...you can tolerate someone but still be intolerant... so why don't we acclaim and celebrate difference, as opposed to just 'tolerating' it."