Antisemitic graffiti found at West Natick MBTA station; community to gather on Sunday

NATICK The Select Board, Police Department and the Chabad Center of Natick are condemning antisemitic graffiti found Thursday night at the West Natick MBTA Station.

A swastika was found apparently spray-painted in black on the pavement at the station.

“Natick unequivocally opposes all acts of hate, prejudice, intolerance or discrimination against all peoples,” Select Board Chairman Bruce Evans said in a statement. “These moments serve as a harsh reminder that we must stand vigilant as a community and continue to make progress via greater education and community outreach. I make this next statement on behalf of the Select Board, town staff and all who associate with Natick, this act is in full opposition to the morality and the convictions of a town fully committed to acceptance and belonging. As an important part of that, we are in the process of hiring a director of equity, inclusion and outreach.”

Antisemitic graffiti was found Thursday night at the West Natick MBTA Station. Residents used chalk to create additional artwork to cover it up.

In the statement, Evans also expressed his solidarity with the Jewish community and said he hopes better education will prevent the “next hateful incident” from taking place.

“A silver lining did arise from the incident,” Evans said. “As the town staff approached the scene to remove this hateful act, it came to our attention that residents had already rallied to ‘combat’ this act with beautiful chalk artwork drawn atop this hateful imagery and blotting it out. Thank you to all Natick residents who stand alongside myself, the Select Board and the town staff.”

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The town is leaving the chalk artwork through Monday so people can see it, Evans said.

The Natick Police Department is investigating the incident.

‘A cowardly act’

“Chief (James) Hicks and the entire Natick Police Department condemn these acts and stand tall with our neighbors as we speak out against this type of divisive hate,” police said in a statement.

Rabbi Levi Fogelman, of the Chabad Center, called the incident a “cowardly act” in a statement.

“The purpose of an antisemitic act such as this, is no doubt done to attempt to create intimidation and fear,” he said in the statement. “But how we respond belongs to us. The reality is that Natick is a wonderful town with beautiful, kindhearted and good people. We are grateful to live in this environment and enjoy an atmosphere of peace and cohesion. My phone has been ringing with calls of support and strength. Our friend’s neighbor, a woman who is not Jewish, couldn’t let it go. She covered up the appalling image with chalk and wrote, ‘Hate has no place here.'”

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Fogelman said that when combating such hate, the first thing to do is to “call out evil” and condemn it.

“One of the things we can do is express our own Jewish pride and identity in ways that we may not have been accustomed to do until now,” he wrote. “The best way to stop darkness is to double our efforts with light and goodness. We take control of our response with acts of positivity and pride. When negativity sees that all they accomplished was to strengthen us even more, it will lose. Individually, it may be through putting a Mezuza on our door, Lighting Shabbat Candles, wearing a kipa, showing up in Shul more often, etc.”

Community gathering on Sunday

On Sunday, the Chabad Center is inviting the community to the Boden Lane Bridge at 10:30 a.m. for a “Confidence in our Community Event.”

Fogelman said people will march from the bridge to the Chabad Center parking lot, 159 Boden Lane, where they will hear from the Natick police and other community leaders.

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“Originally planned as a small intimate event for this Sunday morning, we are extending the invitation to the entire community and will host our Maimonides Cycle of Study Celebration outdoors in the Chabad parking Lot,” Fogelman said. “The teachings of Maimonides represent Education, Ethics and true peace. Let us increase more goodness, light and joyous celebration.”

Norman Miller can be reached at 508-626-3823 or [email protected]. For up-to-date public safety news, follow him on Twitter @Norman_MillerMW or on Facebook at

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