Kenosha Rabbi concerned about politicians approach to White Supremacists
After the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Jewish Leaders in Wisconsin are asking elected officials to stand up to white supremacists.
The most public show of that happened Monday in Racine when - at House Speaker Paul Ryan's CNN town hall - Kenosha Rabbi Dena Feingold asked the congressman directly.
Rabbi Feingold has been with Kenosha's Beth Hillel Temple for more than three decades. She says, in the past, they have had swastikas put on their sidewalk or doors - but it's the rally in Charlottesvilles that she says stands out as the worst show of anti-semitism in her lifetime.
That's why she asked this question:
"Hi, Speaker Ryan. Given our shared upbringing I'm sure that you are as shocked as I am at the brazen expression, public expressions of white supremacy and anti-semitism that our country has seen since the november election," Feingold started her question on Monday.
Would Republicans support steps to hold President Trump accountable when he explicitly or implicitly condoned racism? That was the premise of the question from Rabbi Feingold who says - in the Jewish commmunity - there's always heightened awareness.
"We did one year, a long time ago during our Yom Kippur services, have a neo-nazi in our parking lot doing a goosestep. Trying to scare people I guess. We had security," Rabbi Feingold said.
"The footage of that rally in Charlottesville, Virginia was frightening. I don't know if there's any other word for it," Rabbi Feingold said.
"When something is out there that's really public we try to reassure our members that we have security systems in place. We feel good about what we have arranged," Rabbi Feingold said.
She says they also have a good working relationship with kenosha police. And earlier this year the temple reviewed their strategies following bomb threats on jewish community centers across the country.
But she would like a stronger show of support from politicians suggesting a resolution for cesure for President Trump.
Speaker Ryan responded in part: "But I just disagree with you. I will not support that. I think that would be, that would be so counterproductive. If we descened this issue into some partisan hack-fest, into some bicker against each other, and demean it down to some political food fight, waht good does that do to unify this country."
Speaker Ryan also called for civil conversation as a solution, uniting the country against bigotry. He also admitted that he felt President Trump "messed up" on his press conference - the one where the president placed blame on "both sides".