Rabbi Mitchel Malkus, head of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, condemned the recent acts of hate occurring in Montgomery County and across the country in a public blog post on the school’s website.
“We stand with all groups and individuals who are being targeted. In Montgomery County we have read the reports of schools vandalized with anti-Semitic symbols and we are alarmed by the recent surge in anti-Semitic incidents across the country over the past year. We condemn the rhetoric and the incidents in the strongest terms,” the post, which was titled “In the Aftermath of the Election,” said.
Anti-Semitic incidents, and other hateful vandalism, spiked following the election of Donald Trump.
Malkus’ post also said “there has been heightened and even heated discussion” at his school. A discussion led by high school principal Marc Lindner invited high school students to express their feelings about the election, Malkus said.
Lindner “asked students not to re-litigate which candidate they preferred or to make the case why the election result was positive or negative,” Malkus said via email. “Rather, he invited the students to express how they were feeling after the election. Some students shared that they were frightened and others expressed that they were happy about the result.”
The post emphasized the school’s non-partisan focus, but Malkus said condemning the hateful acts was important because of the school’s core values of “love of Israel” and “love your neighbor.”
At press time, other local Jewish schools have either not made public statements concerning the incidents or have not responded to requests for comment.