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Local Community Gathers to Address “Jew Hate”



Local community gathers to address Jew hate and confront it head on. A personal story from a NRN contributor who attended the gathering. A MUST READ!

By Barbara Harris Whitfield / January 7, 2020

Promoting Solidarity in the Midst of Fear

We just came home from a gathering of 1500 people at the city hall here in Sandy Springs, Georgia. We came together as concerned Jews, friends and neighbors to promote solidarity during this new wave of antisemitism. The speakers were all calling it what it is — “Jew Hate.”  It is always good when a local community gathers to confront problems.

We had dignitaries from all the towns around Atlanta; Rabbis, Christian leaders, and even dignitaries from many countries, including the ones we met from the Netherlands and Mexico. The highlight was a wonderful professor from Emory University who has been teaching about the Holocaust for 40 years (on a huge screen because she was in Washington DC to speak to congress the following day about all this). 

There was a huge police presence. We went through metal detectors when we entered. They searched our purses. Police were all around and they welcomed us with smiles and gentleness. We were grateful that they all carried guns!

We all gathered together in solidarity against the antisemitism that is breaking out all over the US (New York and Jew Jersey have had 10 situations in the last week or so) and the world. It was incredible. I cried through the first half because I was relieved that our community is speaking out and because of my own experiences with antisemitism.

Local Community Gathers: Educating Bigots and Addressing Fear

I can still remember over 70 years ago when my mother picked me up from kindergarten in the middle of the day. We walked home and stayed in our house for a week with the shades down and drapes drawn closed because of race riots against the Jews in Detroit.

Five years ago on a tour of the Rhine River in France and Germany, our tour guide informed us that the Jews had caused the great plague. I asked how he formed that opinion and he said that the Jews didn’t get sick so they caused it. I told him that I was Jewish and he was uninformed. I told him the Jews knew to wash their hands and observed dietary laws that helped them to stay healthy.

He went on to show us floors in buildings that were “double built” so that the Jews could lie under the first layer of floor boards to hide from the Nazis. Is it any wonder I cried for the first half of this incredible evening? My tears were those of relief that my community was addressing these frightening times and we did it with urgency.

Formulating a Plan

At the end of the evening, we all stood and sang while hugging everyone around us. Then We sang The Star Spangled Banner with three children leading us. We prayed, we heard stories. One 13 year old girl told us about 4 experiences she has had of Hate at her middle school. She spoke in front of eleven hundred people in our auditorium and 5 hundred over flowing in another.


Our community put this program together in a week. By the time we left we all felt incredibly uplifted. And we now had a plan! See the back page of the program for a list of items we can do in this community on our own to help. Please start a list in your community. Our main take away is that when communities join together – 

Love replaces fear!

Back Cover of program:



Barbara Harris Whitfield

Barbara Harris Whitfield is a guest contributor for NRN, respiratory therapist, psych researcher at University of Connecticut Medical School, and author of five published books and co-author of five more. Harris Whitfield’s book 'The Secrets of Medicinal Marijuana' is available on Amazon. She is 75 years old and still works as a psychotherapist with her husband, best selling author and physician Charles L. Whitfield M.D. We do individual and group psychotherapy with people who have been repeatedly traumatized (PTSD) and help people get off of psych drugs and opiates.

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