Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu attended an observance of Hanukkah in Chestnut Hill Thursday night that also celebrated the life of Rabbi Shlomo Noginski, who survived a violent attack outside a Jewish Day School in Boston's Brighton neighborhood five months ago.
Through a translator, Noginski recalled the moments he was stabbed eight times in July outside the Shaloh House.
“Right now we should keep our faith. Keep our spirit. Be together. Not only Jewish but everyone who understands, that anti-Semitism is part of hate,” he said.
It's hate that makes mothers like Rachel Orloff anxious about raising three Jewish children.
“I didn’t grow up thinking this is something I’d face as a mother,” she said.
After being the victim of anti-Semitism in Atlanta, Orloff and her family moved to New England seeking heightened safety for her kids. But a number of anti-Semitic incidents in the area are concerning.
There was a swastika recently found in a Danvers middle school, the Holocaust Memorial that has been desecrated twice in Boston, the Duxbury's football team's anti-Semitic play calls and a deadly shooting in Winthrop where the gunman had anti-Semitic writing in his own hand.
“As a mom you don’t know how to word things sometimes," she said. "How do I say, 'Hey! Somebody may not like you because of the way you look or what you believe.'”
Kraft was on hand Thursday night to support Shlomo.
“This man is a hero to me. He’s a wonderful family man. He’s a man of spirituality,” Kraft said. “This is symbolic of ending all kinds of racism. Islamophobia, issues with LGBQT, everything. I just don’t expect the City of Boston to treat a man like this the way it was.”
Boston's newly sworn-in mayor echoed similar sentiments.
“Everyday we are a city that needs to do better when it comes to standing up against hatred, and anti-Semitism and bigotry," Wu said. "We are a city where there should be no question at all whether our community members are safe."
Many feel they are still fighting for safety, equality and respect, but they're thankful Shlomo -- a father of 12 children -- survived the violent incident over the summer.