San Francisco Rabbi Michael Lerner's Home Plastered with Menacing Posters

Categories: Local News
Rabbi_Michael_Lerner.jpg
Rabbi Michael Lerner has been posterized...
Rabbi Michael Lerner, the left-leaning spiritual leader of San Francisco's Beyt Tikkun congregation and editor of Tikkun magazine, is a man whose picture is on many metaphorical dart boards among what is commonly referred to as the "organized Jewish community."

It's difficult to concisely explain the nuance of Lerner and his critics' position on the Israeli-Palestinian question, and most accounts resort to the overly broad terms "Pro-Israel" or "Pro-Palestinian." But we'll sum it up as best we can: The folks going to temple regularly and writing out checks to the Jewish Community Federation and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee hate him, and it's a good bet he's not fond of them, either.

On late Sunday or early Monday, an unknown person or persons took their visceral feeling toward Lerner to a different level, however. The Rabbi and his family yesterday discovered around 20 posters demonizing him securely glued to his home and property in Berkeley. The matter is under investigation by that city's police department

Lerner has been the target of extremist ire before, and could probably release a highlight reel of his all-time most horrible phone messages. But this latest statement has left him rattled. The rabbi's number is listed, as is his address. "But this is the first time anyone has ever physically attempted anything at our home," he told SF Weekly.

The posters depicted caricatures of Lerner and Judge Richard Goldstone, the South African judge who wrote the United Nation's harsh report regarding Israeli and Palestinian actions in Gaza. Lerner publicly embraced the embattled jurist, awarding him the annual Tikkun award for human rights and offering to host his grandson's bar mitzvah here in the Bay Area after Goldstone was pressured into not attending.

"One of the posters says 'Leftists and Islamofascists are terrorists,'" Lerner said. "My family is worried about coming here."


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