Anti-Semitic graffiti at city park is quickly removed

Allison Nathan Getz posted a photo of the graffiti on Facebook

No one knows when the graffiti was painted on the Riverfront Park bridge, but the newspaper reporter who discovered “stupid f------g Jews” in spray paint on the morning of Feb. 6 called Allison Nathan Getz, saying he would not leave the bridge until the hateful words were removed.

Getz said that she contacted city manager Kyle Hayes, who met her at Riverfront Park to inspect the damage.

“He made sure that someone came down in the next several minutes and had them remove it,” she said in an interview with The Examiner. “I was glad that the city took immediate action.”

Getz is the president of Temple Emanuel, a synagogue in Beaumont that she said has been vandalized four times in the last two months, as previously reported by the Examiner.

“The extreme polarization that divides our nation and our community has clearly emboldened those who harbor anger and hatred to publicly display their feelings,” Rabbi Joshua Taub said in a statement. “And yet again, when one voice of anger and hatred is raised against our community, many voices of love and support rise against it.”

Taub also expressed gratitude to the city for removing the graffiti quickly.

Getz mentioned in an email that several people attended their services last Friday night to support the Temple Emanuel congregation. She also expressed gratitude to the Rev. Jim Fuller and Juan Zabala of Calder Baptist Church for standing guard outside during the first service after the most recent vandalism at the Temple.

“I have been contacted by some high school friends of mine who will be there this Friday to stand outside,” Getz wrote in an e-mail. “The responses on Facebook and by e-mail are also so heartwarming. The words of hate are drowned out by the messages of love.”

Her Facebook post after the incident referred to the Jewish concept of “tikkun olam,” the idea of repairing the world instead of spreading hate.

Getz hopes that more education about the message of Judaism will change people’s minds and discourage hatred.

“I just want people to research what Judaism is about, and once they realize the basis for reformed Judaism, maybe they will change their opinions on how they feel,” she said. “I think there are misconceptions of what people think Judaism is about, just as that’s true of other religions.”

Again, no one is really sure who is behind these acts.

“I don’t know if this is somebody that just has a deep seated hatred from generations of hearing about it in their family or someone who’s been watching political stuff and thought they’d jump in,” she said.

“The bottom line is it’s hurtful, it scares people and it needs to stop.”