Residents of Danvers, Massachusetts, assembled Saturday evening for a vigil of inclusion following a second anti-Semitic incident at a school in town this month occurred earlier in the week.
A swastika was found in a student bathroom at Holten Richmond Middle School earlier this week. Anti-Semitic graffiti was also found in a middle school bathroom earlier this month.
The graffiti was found just days after allegations of hazing, sexual abuse, racism and homophobia surrounded the Danvers High School hockey team.
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Saturday's vigil was meant to affirm the worth of every person in this community.
"I mainly have my own group of friends, so in that group obviously it’s welcoming," student Ann Lauren Djoko said. "But outside of that group I don’t really know how to interact with people who I know have different reasons on why they don’t accept me."
"One of the most important things I think for us to be doing is these kinds of things," said Alison Adler, an organizer of the event. "Finding ways for us to connect as human beings and relationships and neighbors."
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"I don’t think this place is full of hate, but right now, I think we have a lot of work to do," said Danvers resident Erica Ferraro, a parent of young children in town. "As a Danvers Jew, it hits a nerve to see things…you don’t want to raise your family in a place of hate."