In Boston’s Heavily Jewish Suburbs, Shock and Re-Sparked Memories

Police Manhunt Recalled Terror in Israel and Elsewhere

Lockdown City: A manhunt continued throughout the day on Friday in and around Boston.
Getty Images
Lockdown City: A manhunt continued throughout the day on Friday in and around Boston.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published April 19, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Everything was strange in Boston’s heavily Jewish suburbs on Friday, as it was for residents throughout the area.

But as armies of police combed the area seeking the second suspect in the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing, some Jews experienced something more than their non-Jewish neighbors — sparks, in some cases, of earlier traumas.

“We have lived in Israel or been in places where Jews have been bombed or threatened with terror,” said Rabbi Sara Paasche-Orlow, referring to some members of her community.

Paasche-Orlow spoke while restricted to her home in Newton, Mass. — one of the placid, middle-class suburbs where, along with Boston itself, residents have been ordered to stay inside as police pursue their suspect, who is armed. Among those she serves and with whom she lives and works, Paasche-Orlow explained, “There’s a very different response than your Boston natives who — the closest they’ve come is 9/11.”

The fearful lockdown ended Friday evening when police arrested the suspect in a boat parked in a backyard in the suburb of Watertown, not far from the scene of a shootout hours earlier.

Paasche-Orlow, who heads the chaplaincy department at Hebrew SeniorLife, a network of elder care centers in the Boston area, expressed particular concern about the effect the terrorism attack and police dragnet might be having on some of her nursing home residents who harbor traumatic memories from having survived the Holocaust.

Rabbi Claudia Kreiman, spiritual leader of Temple Beth Zion, a Conservative synagogue in Brookline, Mass., has other memories evoked by the recent terrorist attack, in which three people died and dozens were injured. Kreiman moved to Boston from Argentina, where her mother was killed in the 1994 terrorist bombing of a Jewish community center that killed 85 people.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.