From the J. archive

Feb. 25, 1916

From a front-page story titled “How to Reach the Unaffiliated”

There are several ways in which congregations can reach and hold the unaffiliated. The first is to go and get them. The method is applicable both to the transient and the local non-member. The way to reach the transient non-members is to place on every hotel desk and in at least one Sunday newspaper an announcement of the place and hour of service and a line to the effect that strangers are assured a welcome. At the temple there should be appointed as ushers men who will greet the strangers as friends, not as intruders, who will direct them to designated seats, not necessarily the poorest in the temple; and after the service the rabbi could, and should, meet them and extend an invitation to come again. In every city that possesses a Ghetto, there are hundreds of young Jewish men and women who need only the urging to become regular attendants at services. Placards, containing the same matter as that in the newspaper advertisement, could be placed in various stores in congested districts and more personal invitations could be placed in the mailing lists of such organizations as “Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Associations.” A half dozen pews might be designated as those permanently reserved for the visitors. A certain number of prayer-books and hymnals should also be kept for their special use.


Aug. 4, 1989

From the article “Vandals deface 3 area synagogues, cemetery,” illustrating a kind of incident we rarely see in the Bay Area

Fifty-six tombstones at Eternal Home Cemetery in Colma were vandalized Thursday of last week, many of them so severely that major restoration will be needed.

Repairs are expected to coast at least $15,000.

Police are continuing their investigation of the incident, which is not believed to be anti-Semitic. … Although the overall destruction appeared to be random, “it looks like they spent some time in some areas,” [cemetery manager Harry Velarga] said. “It was vicious.”

Velarga speculated that, because of the massive weight of some of the stones, as many as three or four people participated. The largest one struck was over 1,000 pounds. … Colma Police Chief Arthur Dollosso dismissed anti-Semitism as a motive in the vandalism, however, because “at least one other nearby non-sectarian cemetery also was vandalized.”