"Boston Belmont Friends Group" has successful 'Bowling Blast' in Dorchester in March. This event was funded by Belmont Against Racism. Thank you to all of our members who contribute to BAR. Please consider a donation to support events like this, the recent "Bystander Workshop" at the Beech Street Center, programs in the schools, and more by writing a check made out to BAR and send to BAR PO Box 649 Belmont MA 02478
We are disheartened by the recent threats to Jewish Community Centers, locally and across the nation, along with other hateful incidents of anti-Semitism. Prejudice against Jewish communities has a long and dark history, and we are here to take a stand that there is no place for anti-Semitism in our community, state, or country.
This past week, two Massachusetts Jewish day schools and the Boston Anti-Defamation League Office were targeted with bomb threats. In addition to the bomb threats, two Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized in recent weeks. It is unconscionable that kindergartners to third graders at a Jewish day school in Newton had to be evacuated due to a bomb threat. Thankfully, no bombs were found, but the intimidation is real.
Also of alarm are the four mosques that were burned in the first three months of the year, and the ongoing reports of threatening letters to Muslim places of worship. These series of burnings follow a year of extreme vandalism and crime toward Muslim businesses and mosques. Again, while we have not witnessed these threats in Belmont, we remain concerned about the impact on our Muslim neighbors and the fear that it engenders for our community.
We commend all 100 Senators in Congress who signed a letter sent to the Trump Administration urging support and assistance to the Jewish communities. The letter shared by Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Senator Gary Peters (D-Mich.), states in part: "We write to underscore the need for swift action with regard to the deeply troubling series of anonymous bomb threats made against Jewish Community Centers (JCCs), Jewish day schools, synagogues and other buildings affiliated with Jewish organizations or institutions across the country."
It is our strong recommendation that the same level of support from the highest offices in our nation is extended to the Muslim community as well.
We commend the Muslim and other faith communities who have reached out to support the Jewish community, including assistance with the repair of cemeteries that were vandalized in two states. We also commend the support of Jews and Christians who have supported the Muslim community, including those in Victoria, Texas, who came together after a mosque burning to give their Muslim neighbors a place to pray.
In December, a group of more than 600 Belmont residents came together to participate in the "Hands Around the Pond for Safety and Civility." At this event, a proclamation from the Belmont Board of Selectman ended with the statement " that Belmont Is a safe and welcoming community, and that its citizens stand in solidarity against injustice and hate ." Belmont Against Racism stands with our Jewish and Muslim neighbors against the religious and ethnic hate crimes that we are currently witnessing across the US and worldwide. We need to continue to affirm these values, perhaps repeatedly, to reassure everyone who lives here that this is a safe and accepting town.
What you can do:
Reach out to your neighbors and centers and houses of worship to offer your support.
Thank Sens. Markey and Warren for signing the letter to the Trump Administration and tell them that you support all communities regardless of their religion, ethnicity, race, or country of origin.
Write to the President and tell him to continue to speak out as he did at his address to Congress, against anti-Semitism and acts of hate. Tell the Administration that hate directed against any group diminishes us all.
Participate in a bystander intervention workshop.
Join a local group that defends the values you believe in.
Kathryn Bonfiglio, President, Belmont Against Racism and Donna Ruvolo, Co-founder, The Stand-Up Campaign
The BAR Board has voted to support the "Welcoming Community " petition to Town Meeting to be presented by Anne Mahon. We encourage our Belmont members to contact their Town Meeting members to voice their support.
BAR has them in 5 languages: Arabic, Armenian, English, Mandarin, and Spanish. It is a two sided sign. We are requesting a $10 donation to cover the cost. If you are interested please contact Kathryn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please make your check out to Belmont Against Racism (BAR), write "METCO Fund" on the byline, and send your donation to:
BAR works with various segments of our community - government, schools, churches and businesses to:
Founded in May 1992 after rioting scarred Los Angeles, Belmont Against Racism (BAR) is a community-action, all-volunteer organization addressing issues of racism and prejudice by following the slogan, think globally, act locally. We focus on fostering awareness and educating the community about exclusionary practices, creating a welcoming community for all, and increasing diversity throughout the town. While BAR, in its first decade, mostly focused on addressing racism, we have broadened our mission to include all problems of prejudice that impact our town and local community.
To promote dialogue, awareness, and understanding about prejudice and to celebrate diversity in Belmont.
Concerns about the safety and card-being of our gay and lesbian students in the Belmont schools led to the establishment of the Gay Straight Alliance Committee in 2001. BGSAC is devoted to addressing issues faced by members of the LGBTQ community in Belmont.
Town of Belmont
Government Organizations For Equality And Social Justice
Non-Profit Organizations For Equality, Social Justice, Fair Housing
Museums/Black History Trail
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, And Transgender Equal Rights