Austin Church Displays Solidarity with Jewish Community Amid Rising Antisemitism Concerns | Shalom Austin

Austin Church Displays Solidarity with Jewish Community Amid Rising Antisemitism Concerns

The Jewish Outlook

Dec 1, 2022

Hope Chapel Kristallnacht commemoration on November 9, 2022. Courtesy: Hope Chapel

By Jay Rubin

In memory of Kristallnacht and to stand in solidarity with the Jewish community against antisemitism, Hope Chapel, a non-denominational Christian Church located in Central Austin’s Brentwood neighborhood, placed an LED candle in each of their 50 windows visible from the street on November 9, 2022.

The candles were lit at dusk and remained lit throughout the night. Yard signs in front of the church explained the purpose of the display as did a slide presentation projected on the church wall. Several church members were also on hand to speak with passerbys during the early evening hours. “We recently learned that some synagogues around the world had begun to leave their lights on all night on November 9th,” explained Bob O’Dell, a church member, longtime Christian Zionist activist and the event organizer. “This year Hope Chapel decided to join them to let our lights shine through the darkness to stand against antisemitism.”

A children’s program that evening involved them in the effort and explained the significance of the commemoration. Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, were government-coordinated anti-Jewish riots that swept through virtually every town and city in Nazi Germany beginning on November 9, 1938. Rioters destroyed hundreds of synagogues, looted thousands of Jewish-owned businesses, and murdered 91 Jews. More than 30,000 Jewish men were rounded up by paramilitary police and deported to concentration camps.

 The event marked a major escalation in anti-Jewish violence that would ultimately lead to the Holocaust, the genocidal murder of six million Jewish men, women and children, two-thirds of European Jewry.

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