SUMMIT, NJ - Summit has been shocked and saddened by the incidents that resulted in swastikas appearing at both Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School and Summit High School within a week of each other.
Clergy, civic leaders and the community at-large have spoken out, denouncing the severely offensive images perpetrated by the as-of-yet-unidentified individuals.
Now, the Summit Interfaith Council has joined with the three synagogues in Summit to organize and host a special community 'No Room For Hate Here' Menorah lighting on December 4 at Summit's Temple Sinai. The public is invited to attend the event, which begins at 6 p.m.
In a Facebook post, Rabbi Hannah Orden of Congregation Beth Hatikvah, the current Summit Interfaith Council vice president, wrote:
"Hanukkah begins today at sundown. This minor Jewish holiday has taken on an outsized importance because of its proximity to Christmas, but for me the power of Hanukkah is the symbolism of shining light in a time of darkness.
We are living in a time when acts of hatred, anti-semitism, and racism are increasing. In the town where I live, swastikas were found at the middle and high schools over the past two weeks and anti-Semitic and racist words and symbols have recently appeared in neighboring towns as well.
No community is immune to messages of hate and discrimination, but what matters is how we respond. These incidents are nothing new, but when they happen, it can be a wake-up call, a reminder not to be complacent. It is an opportunity to bring into the open underlying currents of anti-semitism and racism that continue to afflict our society. It is a time to examine what we are teaching our children both at home and at school. And it is a chance to come together to state clearly that our town stands for the dignity and value of all people.
The Summit Interfaith Council has reached out the administration of the Summit schools to explore how we can work together... Together our light will banish darkness."
Temple Sinai is located at 208 Summit Avenue.