Not In Our Town – A Movement To Stop Hatred
May 4, 2020
Each year during Hanukkah, Not In Our Town – a movement to stop hate, address bullying, and build inclusiveness – remembers the acts that inspired their first film.
Not In Our Town, started in 1993 in Billings, Montana when someone through a brick through the bedroom window of a six-year-old Jewish boy according to the Billings Gazette. In response, The Billings Gazette printed a full-page menorah in the newspaper after the crime. Soon after nearly 10,000 homes across the city of Billings proudly displayed the newspaper cutout of Menorahs in front of their windows as an act of solidarity.
Tammy Schnitzer, the boy’s mother recounted her son’s surprise when he remarked that he didn’t know that there were so many Jewish people in billings.
“No, they are all different religions,” Schnitzer explained to her son. “But they’re here to let you know that there are 10,000 arms wrapping themselves around you saying it’s safe.”
The first campaign spurred faith-based organizations, NGOs, law enforcement agencies, educators, public TV stations, and many others across the country to organize anti-hate actions in their local communities.
Today, Not In Our Town, has grown into a national movement inspired by the united response of Billings residents after the anti-Semitic incident in 1995. The project has grown sizably every year and uses documentary film, new media, and grassroots organizing to address hateful actions of all kinds.
Read More: https://www.niot.org/blog/paper-menorah-20-years-ago-and-today