Father William Leahy: Boston College president speaks about unity at Stuart's Temple Beit Hayam

Posted at 11:54 PM, Mar 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-08 11:00:56-05

STUART, Fla. -- Threats to Jewish community centers across the country continued Tuesday, causing the Jewish community alarm and distress.

In Stuart, more than 500 people of different religions packed into Temple Beit Hayam to hear from Catholic Priest and Boston College President, Father William Leahy.


In a two-hour session hosted by the Rappaport Center, Leahy answered questions and offered guidance surrounding many divisive issues in the country, including recent anti-semitic behavior.


“My hope is that tonight we can increase confidence, a sense of community, and help one another feel more reassured about what is going on in our world today. We’re all in this together,” Leahy said.


Those threats are concerning, he says, and something everyone should stand up against.


“When harm is being done or a threat is being made to one segment of our society, everybody feels that, I think,” Leahy said.


Rabbi Matthew Durbin says the temple has taken steps to make sure people feel safe worshipping there.


“We have enhanced our security and are having further measures done. We have increased stuff that people can not see from security point of view,” Durbin said. “I think for myself, as well as the Jewish community, it is alarming. It is distressing.”


Tuesday, guests wanted the Jewish community to feel comforted.


“We want to be here to support our Jewish friends,” said Stuart, resident Teddy Campo. “I'm not pleased that it’s happening here, but we’re not shocked, we’re not surprised. Unfortunately, I have a sense that there’s going to be more of it.”


His wife, Wendy, who is Jewish, said she is not letting the recent threats keep her from comfortably practicing her religion.


“I really don’t feel afraid to come. I just believe that the Lord will take care of us,” Campo said.