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Boston Suburb Takes On Anti-Semitism in Schools

A suburban Boston school district is working with community groups to combat a series of anti-Semitic incidents at elementary and high schools.

The Bedford district is addressing incidents that have occurred in recent months, the Boston Globe reported Tuesday, including a community forum set for Thursday. The incidents include a game called “Jail the Jews” at two elementary schools, and swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti painted on Bedford High School and one of the elementary schools, according to the newspaper.

A local interfaith group of clergy has created a campaign called “Love Your Neighbor” to combat the phenomenon.

The school district “has been on top of it from the start, and the superintendent has taken it very seriously and the community has taken it very seriously,” Robert Trestan, the New England director of the Anti-Defamation League, told the Globe. “One of the important antidotes to this is a community response, and these pieces are starting to be put in place.’’ Trestan said the number of incidents and the fact they involved elementary students is unusual.

In other incidents, a child told her parents that a classmate said they were going to destroy her country because she is Jewish, and a Jewish child was told by a peer that she could not have a cracker because Jews didn’t believe in Jesus. Also, while discussing Christmas and Hanukkah, students said that Jews were responsible for killing Jesus

Police are not investigating the elementary school incidents, which are not considered criminal in nature, according to the Globe. But police continue to probe the graffiti as hate crimes, Lt. Scott Jones told the newspaper.

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