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.