Dear Rabbi Lipsker,
I was delighted to read the article about you in the Jewish Journal and I thank Joshua Resnek for sharing this beautiful tale. You have been an instrument of courage/strength/intellect/tenacity/and education to the Town of Swampscott.
I grew up in Swampscott. As a child and young adult, Jews tried to keep under the radar screen of the population. We were not allowed to STAND OUT. I remember at Christmas time feeling so uncomfortable in school when we were required to sing Christmas carols. I remember mouthing the words that CLOGGED my throat.
When you and Layah first came to Swampscott, you bravely walked along Humphrey Street in your long black coat and black hat. Many local Jews shuddered thinking you were bringing too much attention to “someone foreign.” But you persisted. You created good will in a community that eyed Jews with long-held negative suspicions. At Hanukah, you placed a Menorah on Humphrey Street to celebrate a Jewish Holiday while the Town had a Christmas display on the Town Hall’s front lawn. You have COURAGE.
You have made all of us in Swampscott by birth and others so proud. It is as if we no longer have to keep below the radar screen. We can openly stand proud being a Jew.
I personally THANK YOU for being here in SWAMPSCOTT and in the world. You are leaving very LARGE FOOTPRINTS on our “beaches”/ in our hearts/ and for many generations to come.
With much respect and admiration.
Beverly Kahn, Swampscott