June 26, 2012

Last Saturday afternoon, Long Beach Island beach goers saw a plane that towed a banner displaying the word “Swastika,” and showed a swastika intertwined with the Hebrew Star of David. The banner was also seen along other Jersey shore beaches and as far north as Manhattan.

Several concerned people contacted the JCC of LBI as well as calling the police and local airports to find out what this was all about. At our mezuzah ceremony Sunday morning, one of our donor’s grandchildren told us of the incident and was very concerned about what he had seen.

We contacted the Regional office of Anti-Defamation League in West Orange, NJ and the Director of Community Service & Policy/Deputy Director, Etzion Neuer, confirmed that the organization which sponsored this flight, the Raelian Movement, is not an anti-semetic, pro-Nazi group. “This was an insensitive publicity stunt. The Raelians cared more about their own symbol than the sensitivities of us in the Jewish community, who naturally associate the swastika with the Holocaust,” said Neuer.

According to the Raelian Web site (www.proswastika.com), the swastika is a “symbol of peace and good luck in many Eastern religions.” One variation of the symbol on the site shows it intertwined with a hexagram or the Hebrew Star of David and is described as the “official” symbol of the movement.

Our President Don Pripstein was interviewed by News 12 and the following is the report that was aired at 10:00 PM on Monday night, June 25, 2012. To see the interview, cut and paste this link. http://www.news12.com/articleDetail.jsp?articleId=324889&position=1&news_type=news

NOTE: Not everyone can access this site.

To learn more about this group and to see the letter sent from them to Don, cut and paste this link: http://proswastika.org/news.php

You can also find a detailed article in Tuesday’s Atlantic City Press by cutting and pasting this link https://jccoflbi.org/2012/06/26/banner-over-lbi/

Sometimes people question why they should support the JCC of LBI. They say we are on vacation or we already belong to another shul. The events of last weekend remind us that our synagogue represents the interests of the Jewish community in this area and that the entire community looks to us for guidance.

Rose Valentine

E-Letter Editor