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Old 07-16-2013, 08:58 AM
Location: Lone Star State to Peach State
3,827 posts, read 3,513,483 times
Reputation: 6918


Having been on various committees at our previous synagogue,
We would welcome those
Kinds of comments anytime.
We were always looking for feedback from members, non members, visitors, etc...

With the right blend of people that unfriendliness could be replaced with warmth, acceptance,
And smiling faces.

Went to a Reform service which was being held in a Church in Fresno Ca. A few years back.
Quite a change from the Conservative Temple we were members of here in Texas.

I have to say though. My family is Catholic, and I sometimes attend life cycle events at their church. I have never been treated so kindly by people who didn't even know me or my Jewish Family.
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Old 11-10-2018, 06:12 AM
1 posts, read 315 times
Reputation: 10
Reform Judaism has a policy of audacious hospitality. I see your post is several years old, but the Tree of Life shooting two weeks ago led to something called #ShowUpForShabbat the following week and many non-Jewish guests were welcomed last week.
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Old 11-16-2018, 02:24 PM
572 posts, read 692,154 times
Reputation: 485
I know this is old but:

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.
Yup, "model" minorities (Indians, Asians, Jews, and etc) in America do that A LOT! That is their passive aggressive way of letting you know you are NOT welcome over there. Despite the fact that most Jews in America are Ashkenazi and white. I can somewhat understand Jews being cautious in Europe, but in America....attacks on Jews are very rare even after the far right nutcase a few weeks ago so I fail to see why they are like that especially in Reform synagogues! JFK does that this as well, they even profile Mizrahi Jews (Jews from Middle East) because they actually look what their people looked like in ancient times compared to Ashkenazi Jews.

I am Mexican of ambigous racial look who has been mistaken as Indian, Middle Eastern/North African, part Asian, and/or Jewish....but once they found out I was none of those: they either completely ignore me, bring up "Make America Great again" or anti-Mexican slang, or call the police/private security guards (GS4) when they see my Mexican-American bumper stickers on my car (thinking I am illegal or stole that 2015 hybrid car LOL).

Which sucks because most of the French Jews (I go to France once every other year) are mostly Sephardi/Mizrahi Jews (Jews from Iberian peninsular and/or North Africa: they migrated to France during the 50s and 60s) and they treated me with respect and curiousity when I told them my family is from Mexico (although they were probably hoping I was Jewish but still treated me nicely). Sephardi/Mizrahi Jews actually looked out for me in Europe compared to the Ashkenazi Jews in USA where they are more judgmental and distant toward me after finding out I am Mexican.

Edit: Apparently there are growing numbers of Jewish communities in Mexico....the more you know. *shrugs*

Last edited by FBF; 11-16-2018 at 02:42 PM..
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:14 AM
Location: Bethel, CT
8 posts, read 2,121 times
Reputation: 15
That synagogue is rude and filled with rude people. At my conservative synagogue, non-Jews are welcome to stop by anytime, in fact thereís this really christian man and wife that come every shabbat because going to church on sunday isnít enough for them, I guess, and they like the singing and the Torah reading.
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Old 02-25-2019, 02:02 PM
584 posts, read 504,238 times
Reputation: 152
There is something very curious about this thread. I've been to numerous Reform services in a number of States. Having Christian 'friends' in attendance anything but surprising.

I don't trust the OP.
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Old 03-23-2019, 10:05 AM
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,497 posts, read 1,599,268 times
Reputation: 4392
Old thread, but...

The OP's biggest mistake was visiting a synagogue on Shabbat. First off, Shabbat is not "visitation time"; it's an important, prayer-intensive service, even if using electricity and such. Second, Judaism has a pretty high outside awareness. Non-Jews are generally quite familiar with Jewish practices nowadays, and therefore know the "good" times to attack, so to speak. So an outside visitor coming in without a valid reason to be there will certainly arouse suspicion.

What kind of synagogue was it, anyway? It makes a difference! Maybe it was an elegant Beaux Arts building, where people are accustomed to architecture and history fans coming in for secular reasons. Or maybe it was a quirky Frank Gehry building, that makes people curious about the interior. So the rabbis either begrudgingly tolerate "tourists" or have specific hours when visitors are allowed. Or was it a plain-looking 1980's concrete building that look more like an office than a synagogue? In the last case, outside visitors who aren't family of the attendees wouldn't have a good reason to come unannounced.

Finally, what stopped the OP from visiting on a Sunday? It's a regular working day in Judaism, when no services are held, unless the Sunday falls on a holiday. At the same time, many rabbis have office hours on Sundays (when Americans don't have work or school), so members can come in for a consultation and such. So on a non-service day, a rabbi or whoever is on duty may have been more willing to show the OP around, although he'd still be asked to put a kippah on. Or at the very least, the OP coud have come on a Saturday after sunset; that's when Shabbat is technically over, but some Shabbat vibe is still present.
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