Natick community stands in solidarity against antisemitic vandalism

The Chabad Center in Natick shared this photo of chalk drawings over graffiti of a swastika.

NATICK, Mass. (WLNE) — Dozens of people marched despite the rain in Natick to show solidarity with the Jewish community after a swastika was graffitied at a nearby train station, our sister-station WCVB Channel 5, Boston reports.

Officials said the swastika was discovered on Thursday on the pavement next to the Boden Lane Bridge, which connects Boden Lane to Route-135 and is next to the West Natick MBTA Station.

The stop is recognized as a frequented stop for commuters riding the Framingham, Worcester line.

Natick police are investing the incident and Rabbi Levi Fogelman of the Chabad Center in Natick said officers have increased their presence in the area.

MBTA transit police Supt. Richard Sullivan said the incident will also be investigated by a detective assigned to their Criminal Investigation Unit.

“The Transit Police (Department) takes despicable acts such as this with the utmost seriousness,” Sullivan said in a statement.

Rabbi Fogelman hosted a march across the Boden Lane Bridge late Sunday morning that ended at the Chabad Center, where annual celebration dedicated to Jewish philosopher Maimonides and his teachings.

The day after the swastika was discovered, Fogelman shared on Facebook that he received numerous phone calls from people who wanted to share their support and strength in the immediate aftermath of the incident.

He also sad a woman who is not Jewish covered up the swastika with a chalk-drawn flower that was accompanied by the message: “Hate has no place here.”

“The purpose of an antisemitic act such as this, is no doubt done to attempt to create intimidation and fear. But how we respond belongs to us,” Fogelman wrote on Facebook.

“The reality is that Natick is a wonderful town with beautiful, kind hearted and good people. We are grateful to live in this environment and enjoy an atmosphere of peace and cohesion,” he concluded.

In a joint statement, Natick Town Administrator James Errickson and Select Board Chair Bruce Evans said that the town will leave the chalk artwork in place through Monday, which is when Department of Public Works crews will remove the hateful graffiti the chalk is covering up.

Categories: Massachusetts, News