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Old 04-28-2013, 07:53 PM
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
15,511 posts, read 13,282,205 times
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Originally Posted by OneLess View Post
Thank you. I needed some pictures but did not have chance to take one.

Last thing; If they were suspicious about me, why did they talk with me outside for 30 min and did not call the police while I was there? Also those who attack synagogues do not go in and talk with anybody.. They attack without shoving their face.
Which makes me think it was an outsider that called the police and not someone from inside the synagogue. It does not make sense they would talk to you for 30 minutes and then call the police when you leave.

It does not make much sense they would call unless they had an allegation you did some damage or the like.

Perhaps you should call the Rabbi of the Synagogue and explain that you need some pictures for a school project and ask for his help. You may find him to be cooperative.
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:56 PM
Location: small Southern town balabusta
1,133 posts, read 1,432,423 times
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Originally Posted by charolastra00 View Post
It is partially a regional thing, I think. Not sure where in the South you are, but the local synagogue that recently opened in my parents' area of the deep South does not charge for tickets because the population is smaller. Now living in Boston, there is simply not enough room if all of the synagogues maxed out their capacity for all of the Jews who would be interested if it was free. By charging a fee, the synagogues are able to get service attendees who are demonstrably committed (either financially or reaching out despite financial need) to the congregation.

I do believe at least some of the synagogues give tickets for free to members of the synagogue and only charge non-members.
That makes sense. I went to services in Ohio and Michigan, too. I'm glad tickets are free for members. I honestly could not afford to go to services on High Holidays if I had to pay for a membership, Sisterhood, all the dinners we go to and continue tzedekah, plus buy tickets on High Holidays! I can't even think about that one.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:22 PM
32,532 posts, read 30,656,328 times
Reputation: 32347
I used to go to a Catholic church that was open 24/7 for prayer. Anyone could walk in off the street and pray.

There were cameras inside the church. People stole things. People slept in the pews. Cameras were needed to protect both property and the people going in to pray. Unfortunately, that's just the way the world is. It seems awfully naive of you, OP, to not know that in this day and age people are looking over their shoulders.

Next time call ahead. Few churches can accommodate someone waltzing in off the street for a "school project". Why did you expect a synagogue to? "Many students" come to your church? A 200 year-old California mission gets "many students". Not most churches.

One more thing: If your church forgave whomever damaged the statue of the Virgin Mary.... why aren't you forgiving of the people who called the cops on you? You can't understand why the people in the synagogue didn't do what you wanted them to do? Really? Keep up with the news at all?

Last edited by DewDropInn; 04-28-2013 at 09:47 PM..
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:21 PM
3,954 posts, read 3,341,414 times
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Originally Posted by OneLess View Post
Couple of months ago I visited a Hindu temple with my two siblings, and we were very welcomed. We just told them we want to see how it is, their religion, etc. They were very welcoming, gave us a nice tour and told us we could come back any time. I thought Jews would be the same.

So I'll guess next time a visitor comes to our local church we will call the police after (They will receive several phone calls then)
So now you're going to generalize all Jews with one judgement?

I think you are painfully unaware, and the only surprise is they didn't call the police while you were still there. I stick by my first impression - which is they did the right thing by calling the police on you. I suspect you are now included in some federal file somewhere for the government to keep loose tabs on you. Next time you'll have better judgement and try to see the world through another's eyes first, not just your own needs.
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:32 AM
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,799 posts, read 10,711,160 times
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Originally Posted by OneLess View Post
You don't need to be there to see what happened... I told you what happened..
When you post an anecdote, anonymously, on the internet, you need to expect some folks may not believe it.

Ive been to many synagogues, belonged to a few, and belonged to one Reform synagogue. Christians go all the time - at a Bar Mitzvah of a kid with one non jewish parent, there will be LOTS of christians in the sanctuary. There may even be non-Jews on the Synagogue board (not at a Conservative shul though) We've had christian pastors visit my Conservative synagogue, and we've had interfaith joint services. So, aside from alienating people by your camera, either you happened to go to a place where that had recently been a crime scare of some kind, or the story isnt quite as it seems in some other way. It just does not sound credible to me.

Note - there are parts of europe where they DO require you to be Jewish to go in - those are places that have suffered a serious wave of antisemitic attacks recently. Im not aware of many places in the USA where that would be true - maybe in some older inner city areas, but not that many reform synagogues left in such areas.
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:56 AM
Location: Camberville
12,023 posts, read 16,765,337 times
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Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
Note - there are parts of europe where they DO require you to be Jewish to go in - those are places that have suffered a serious wave of antisemitic attacks recently. Im not aware of many places in the USA where that would be true - maybe in some older inner city areas, but not that many reform synagogues left in such areas.
That's true of the "hidden" synagogue in Vienna. The synagogue had to hire Israeli security officers to guard the synagogue and you must be Jewish even to attend non-religious tours. I was asked what the last Jewish holiday was and when I responded with "Passover", I was yelled at and told to say it in Hebrew. :P Scared the crap out of me! But they've had difficult times.
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:02 PM
Location: Lone Star State to Peach State
3,827 posts, read 3,513,483 times
Reputation: 6918
I work in a synagogue.
WE need to be aware of everyone who walks through our doors.
Fortunately everyone knows almost everyone here. When we see a new face we question.
Depending on what day, what hour, what holiday, you walked in makes a huge difference.
Not only do we worship here, but we have a school, and hold classes for the general public.
We don't know any of this info from your post.
The world we live in demands we be vigilant in knowing who wants to know us.
We encourage visitors to call first or come with a Jewish family as to not avoid breaking any rituals. It's just courtesy and awareness.
I would NEVER consider just dropping by a mosque without calling for info, or knowing another family to come with me.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:45 PM
Location: North Texas
23,991 posts, read 32,816,218 times
Reputation: 27521
Originally Posted by OneLess View Post

So I left the synagogue and thanked them for letting me go in. An hour after, a police officer knocks on my door. He asked me what kind of car I drive, where I work and if I have been visiting the synagogue. The police officer told me that they felt uncomfortable me being there because they never seen me before, and wondered why I was just at that synagogue. Although the police officer told me that they said I was friendly, and was told that I had school project and had camera with me to take pictures (I never took any due to feeling uncomfortable).

Unbealivable! I turn my back and they call the police on me. Apparently the two guys that stood outside got my licence plate while being inside the synagogue. I don't know whether I should laugh or cry. I told two Jewish friends at work and they were laughing.

I mean common if I was driving or walking around the parking lot without talking to any of them, or was friendly or anything then fine, but not calling the police as soon as I leave the place. I will never go there again.
I have never seen or heard of such a thing happening at a reform synagogue. How utterly ridiculous and paranoid.

I attend a reform synagogue...I think we probably see a curious Gentile or two every other week. Nobody gets paranoid or calls the cops. Quite the opposite...if you are new, you will be noticed. And questioned! And taken around and introduced to lots of people whose names you will never remember! And if there's food around, which there usually is, you'll be pressured to eat it. "EAT, EAT!"


Come visit my temple. Nobody will call the cops on you.

ETA: I missed the part where you said you wanted to take pictures. That MIGHT raise some eyebrows if you just showed up with a camera expecting to take pictures of a service. I've never seen that done. However, if you wanted to ask questions and have them answered, you could call the rabbi or president and I'm sure they would have been quite happy to meet with you and answer your questions.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:56 AM
32,071 posts, read 32,974,848 times
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Originally Posted by OneLess View Post
Why are non-Jews not so welcomed to visit synagogues? I do look like normal American. This was a very liberal synagogue, and not even Orthodox or Conservative. Even two years ago during a Jewish holiday, I wanted to go in and see how they do it for few minutes, the lady at the parking lot said that I need ticket to go in, very disappointed.
During the Jewish High Holy Days of Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year) & Yom Kipper (the Jewish Day of Atonement) even if you are Jewish you need a ticket to go into a service. A few years ago my father was visiting the NYC area for Rosh Hashana and wanted to attend a a morning Rosh Hashana service. He was denied access to several synagogues in an area with many Jewish synagogues in Queens (which is part of NYC) as he was a non-resident/visitor who didn't have ticket for the services. Finally, a synagogue of a former USSR Jewish group allowed him in to participate in their prayer service.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:19 AM
Location: Orlando
1,986 posts, read 2,635,623 times
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During the High Holy Days, Jews who would not otherwise go to a service in a synagogue DO go to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services. (Like the Christians who go to church only on Christmas and Easter.) So usually the synagogues are jammed to overflowing. That is the main reason that tickets are required -- that, plus it's usually a money-maker for the congregation to sell tickets.

Tickets are not required everywhere, however. In our city in North Florida, we have one small Conservative congregation and one large Reform congregation, plus a Chabad and a Hillel at the university. No one requires tickets for any High Holy Days services. We do ask for donations, but we do not sell tickets. All are invited to attend, for free.
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