Following threats against the Jewish community in Whitefish, Montana, more than two dozen of the state’s faith leaders are urging Montanans to put menorahs in their windows this season to demonstrate support for Jews.
“As an act of solidarity, we invite people across Montana to show support by displaying menorahs in their windows this season. Find one at a local store, print a paper copy from the Internet, or find one in the local Missoula newspaper,” the group of ministers, pastors and rabbis wrote in the statement, published in the Montana Standard. “The menorah is a symbol of light and wisdom. In this time of transition and challenge, it represents the need to support each other in the work of peace-making, reconciliation and justice.”
Close to a popular resort, Whitefish has become an unlikely flashpoint in the rise of the so-called “alt-right,” due to the residence there of Richard Spencer, who coined the term and desires a white “ethnostate.” After reports that the downtown building owned by Spencer’s mother was suffering, the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer Web site called for an anti-Jewish march in the town. A local interfaith coalition known as “Love Lives Here” has been opposing Spencer since his agenda came to light.
Daniel J. Solomon is the Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.