Suburban Boston mayor announces initiatives in wake of anti-Semitic incidents

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — The mayor of the Boston suburb that has been the scene of several anti-Semitic incidents in recent weeks has announced a series of initiatives to “ensure an accepting and welcoming environment” for students, residents and visitors.

On Friday, Setti Warren said in a statement that the initiatives are “in response to recent incidents that are contrary to the City of Newton’s values.”

The statement said Warren and Superintendent of Schools David Fleishman” will be implementing programs to strengthen protocols, provide training for administrators on how to respond to hateful incidents, and engage and educate students on maintaining our community values at all times.”

Setti said the city and the school district would work with attorney Richard Cole, a civil rights and Safe Schools consultant. Cole is a former assistant attorney general in Massachusetts and the one-time chief of the attorney general’s civil rights division.

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He also announced a community discussion for April 7 “ensuring that Newton is a welcoming place for all.”

Three incidents of anti-Semitic graffiti were reported at the predominantly Jewish Newton North public high school in the days after fans of an opposing Catholic school basketball team shouted anti-Semitic chants during a championship game.

A Newton middle school has been the target of at least three incidents of anti-Semitic graffiti since October, including one last month.

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