Jewish community launches initiative to show pride in wake of anti-Semitism
Jan. 10 will mark one month since a deadly shooting at the JC Kosher Supermarket in Jersey City – a shooting authorities say was fueled by anti-Semitism.
In memory of the victims, Chabad Young Professionals of Hoboken and Jersey City kicked off the Hercenberg Mezuzah Mission- a new campaign to ensure every Jewish home in New Jersey has a kosher mezuzah on the doorpost.
Hoboken resident Daniel Silverman and his wife Victoria became the first to have a kosher mezuzah placed on their doorpost as part of the program. They said a prayer of the mezuzah Thursday afternoon.
"In a world with hate and anti-Semitism and violence, it's important to stand strong, not be afraid, show we're Jewish and we're proud of it,” Silverman says.
Rabbi Shmully Levitin says the Torah teaches that a mezuzah provides protection for the residents of the home and serves as a symbol of Jewish pride.
"As a response to the attack that took place in Jersey City, as a response to the attacks that are taking place around the tri-state area, we felt it was so necessary to spread the Mitzvah - spread the message of the mezuzah,” Levitin says.
Inside the casing of the mezuzah is a scroll with the Shema prayer, which talks about the Unity of God.
"In the Shema prayer, it actually says that you should put up these words on your doorpost, which is the mezuzah,” Levitin says.
Yudi Hercenberg is donating the mezuzahs to the campaign. He says rabbis and trained volunteers will travel to participants' homes to put the complimentary mezuzahs on their doorposts.
"Any Jewish person that needs a mezuzah should be calling in and getting involved and I'm very excited to partake in it,” Hercenberg says.
The Silvermans says that their mezuzah is kicking off a powerful campaign full of pride.
"Proudly displaying the fact that you are Jewish, that sends a very strong message,” Levitin says.
Levitin says that he has spoken to family members of some of the victims of the Jersey City shooting. He says they are appreciative that this campaign is taking place in memory of those who were lost.
More information about the program can be found HERE.