Our entire community is shaken by the fact that we had the door to our small Tucson synagogue broken. It did damage not only to the facility, it did damage to the community. Even though no one was injured, it really violated our safety and people feel targeted. Folks are even scared to say anything or report anything.
Our rabbi was on board completely. But when I reached out to other folks, I heard we don’t know if it was actually antisemitism, maybe it’s not the best idea to put this out in the public, maybe we shouldn’t let the media know.
But I disagreed. It’s very easy for us not to say anything and fix the door and just forget about it. But if we hide, how will people believe and understand what some of the members of our community face? Make no mistake. I don’t think it was an accident. When we have Holocaust deniers, folks who continue to push conspiracy theories and hate rhetoric around Jews, these are the consequences. But we have members worried about what others would say or that we would put the rest of the community in danger. I think it’s when we don’t say things that it really makes things worse for us.
ARIZONA STATE ASSEMBLY REP. ALMA HERNANDEZ in a Zoom conversation with JOAN ROTH and SUSAN WEIDMAN SCHNEIDER, May 22, 2021. Edited for brevity and clarity.