Community Briefs: Buxco Antisemitism, Don Waldman Dies

sign with the word antisemitism crossed out
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Bucks County Rabbis and Cantors Council Issues Statement About Recent Antisemitism

The Bucks County Rabbis and Cantors Council issued a statement Oct. 28 denouncing antisemitic language, threats of violence and racism made in recent weeks against county school board members, particularly the Pennsbury School District.

Pennsbury School Board President Christine Toy-Dragoni has told the media that said she had received threatening emails, social media messages and cellphone messages because of the district’s imposition of a mask mandate to combat the pandemic.

“If all of this wasn’t disgusting enough, several e-mails my fellow board members have received are violently antisemitic,” Toy-Dragoni said. “Many messages, including the threat of rape against my family members and me, were anti-immigrant. Other messages were horrifically transphobic.”

Newsweek reported that Toy-Dragoni released censored screenshots of messages that included the phrases “Death to the Jew” and “Good men are waking up to the Jew sickness.” Another message said that she was “lucky” that parents did not “kill you and your whole family.”

In response, the council issued a statement signed by 11 members that, in part, reads:
“The threats of violence, racist language, and antisemitic comments have no place in our community or in our country. We, the leaders of the Bucks County Jewish community, stand together to condemn the threats of physical violence and hateful language in the strongest terms.

“We call upon all members of our community to condemn the threats of violence and to refrain from the use of any language that may be considered racist, homophobic, transphobic, and antisemitic. We plead with elected school board members, elected officials, and the community at large to return to the use of civil discourse and to show respect for one another as human beings …

“Our children are watching and learning from our words and our actions. We want our children to debate the issues and respect the democratic process passionately and respectfully without fear of violence or bigoted attacks.”

A “Vigil to Unite Against Extremism, Hate & Violence” was held Nov. 1 at the Garden of Reflection in Yardley.

Jewish Community Contributor Don Wolfe Waldman Dies at 86
Don Wolfe Waldman, who was active in multiple Jewish community organizations throughout his life, died Sept. 22. He was 86.

A native of Philadelphia, he worked with his father, brother and son in the heating oil business his grandfather founded. He was a principal of Waldman Oil, Stott Waldman and Duck Island Terminal, which were wholesalers and distributors of petroleum products.

Waldman participated in several missions to Israel and was active in the Abramson Center for Jewish Life, JCC Central Board and the Jewish Federation board of trustees. He was a member of Congregation Adath Jeshurun, served on its board of trustees and endowed its Hebrew Arts Series. He also served as the president of the Jewish Community Centers of Philadelphia.



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