Temple Beth El With nearly 700 family members, Temple Beth El has a vibrant program of religious, spiritual, educational, social, social action and support activities. Temple Beth El’s two main auxiliaries, the Sisterhood and the Men’s Club, each have an active agenda of programs, services and activities. Temple Beth El is affiliated... Read More

Points of Light: Finding Support in our Community

A Message from Rabbi Biatch:
My dear friends,
The resiliency of the Jewish community can withstand many assaults, but it can also hear and be comforted by expressions of support. Following, now, the fourth day of multiple bomb threats against Jewish community centers, members of the Jewish community are tense and fearful, perhaps not from the threats of physical danger but from the uncertainty of living in a society that might tolerate such behaviors. Some would feel that we have entered a new period of darker days.
But there are points of light before us. Please read below two letters of sincere support for us that I received on Wednesday, February 22: One from the Muslim community of Madison, and the other from a ministerial colleague in Fitchburg. I thought it would be important for you to see these letters and to know something of the support from the non-Jewish community in which we live.
I am tremendously buoyed by this support. I hope you are as well. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Rabbi Jonathan Biatch

We, the Madison Muslim Community and the Madinah Community Center, stand with Jewish Community and condemn in the strongest possible terms the bomb threats made against several Jewish Community Centers across United States, including one in Wisconsin.
We call upon the law enforcement officers for a prompt apprehension of the perpetrator(s) and bring them to justice.
Our community will continue to stand with all other minorities who are subject to hate.  According to Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of hate groups in the United States rose for the second straight year in 2016.
We all need to work together to replace acts of hatred with acts of kindness.
Masood Akhtar, Advisor to the Madison Muslim Community and the Madinah Community Center

Dear Rabbi Biatch,

We are writing to you on behalf our congregation to express our solidarity with the people of Temple Beth El and the wider Jewish community in the Madison area during this time of rising anti-Semitic incidents around the nation. While we are grateful that there has been nothing as horrendous here as the desecration of the graves in St. Louis, we know that hatred has a way of infecting every place and so we want you to know that you are not alone.
One of the blessings of our area has been the good work done collectively by the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities that share a common bond through Abraham and bonds of friendship through our shared experiences locally. Those bonds are particularly important when any part of our community is threatened.
During these hard times, we want you to know that you are held in our prayers. Beyond that, we stand with you in the face of hatred. None of us need be alone in this world.
With hope in the midst of it all,
Rev. Phil Haslanger, Pastor;  Rebecca Malke-Eliganti, Director of Faith Development
Memorial United Church of Christ, Fitchburg