“Malden synagogue issues appeal on behalf of city resident” (Oct. 10) painted a grave picture for long-time Malden resident, Arthur Razin. I don’t know all of the details of his situation, but as the Executive Director of Congregation Beth Israel of Malden and Malden resident for 13 years, I can speak more directly to the nature of Jewish life in Malden.
The Jewish community in Malden has for a long time had a close relationship with the City government. Former Mayor Richard Howard not only spoke at our mikvah groundbreaking ceremony but also made a personal donation to its construction. Current Mayor Gary Christenson spoke at our mikvah’s inauguration celebration, and his office has been very supportive of our Eruv expansion.
The City has also been friendly to us on a personal level. Last year a snow emergency was declared on a Shabbat and one of our members’ car was towed. After a quick after-hours text to someone in the Mayor’s office explaining that he couldn’t move his car because of Shabbat, the police chief himself called up the member, had the car removed from impound without the fine, and voided the ticket.
Also, it is important to note that the Psalm 27 Appeal created by Rabbi Rabinowitz and our Vice-President, Sam Goldberg, was created specifically to help Arthur get back on his feet, not as a general anti-homeless fund.
Matthew Garland, Executive Director
Congregation Beth Israel, Malden
This post was previously published in The Jewish Advocate.