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

(page 2 of 2)

“This week has been especially hard for me personally, beside what it’s been for all of us here,” Kreiman said. “I haven’t yet put it together, how does it go together with my own personal experience of the [1994] bombing. Its still too surreal to put it together….I’m looking out the windows and I’ve never seen a street so empty in the area.”

Other Jews living in the locked-down suburbs of Brookline and Newton responded with shock on Friday morning. Some had been up all night watching the news. Others were woken by emergency calls at six in the morning, warning them not to go outdoors.

Contacted by the Forward, many residents focused on the immediate details, as news reports circulated of heavily armed police forces combing the suburb of Watertown. Others compared their experiences in Boston this week to experiences in Israel during the Second Intifada. “This is so unprecedented in America, to have this wide a lockdown,” said Rabbi Leonard Gordon, spiritual leader of Congregation Mishkan Tefila, a synagogue in Newton. “We’ll see how this impacts on people’s sense of security.”

The lockdown isrupted the lives of people throughout Boston. Paasche-Orlow said that staffers can’t travel to their work at Hebrew SeniorLife facilities, but that people already on duty have been asked to stay at the homes to continue to provide services to the elders who live there.

In an email sent to his congregants, Gordon noted the momentous nature of what they were all experiencing, and the small rhythms of daily life that stood frozen in place. “More narrowly, for our kehillot (such as mine, Mishkan Tefila in Newton),” he wrote, “this meant cancelled morning minyan, cancelled Nursery School, and disrupted preparations for Shabbat. “

An outgoing voicemail on the phone of JCDS Boston, a Jewish day school in Watertown, where the missing suspect was apparently last seen, simply said that the school was closed for the day.

Virginia Drachman, who lives in Newton, said she and her husband were wakened at 6 a.m. by an emergency phone call recording informing her about the lock-down. “There were practically no cars on the road,” Drachman said. “We saw one car go by and we actually saw two walkers walking, and that was it, all morning.”


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!
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • 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.