By COLlive reporter
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper paid a special visit to Chabad of Colorado Springs Thursday to offer support after multiple hate crimes of vandalism have occurred in the area.
Hickenlooper was accompanied by several members of his staff, including his Chief of Staff Doug Friednash, who is Jewish.
Rabbi Moishe Liberow, Shliach in Colorado Springs, welcomed the Governor and thanked him for his support of the Jewish community.
Hickenlooper remarked how he had been befriended by prominent Jewish businesspeople when he began his restaurant business in the 1980’s, and said these individuals have remained strong friends and partners while he served as Mayor of Denver and now as Governor of Colorado.
The Governor also recalled that in his first inaugural address as governor, he used the Yiddish word ‘landsman’ to help describe the important connection between Coloradans of differing backgrounds.
“I am acutely aware of the challenges people of all faiths face,” the governor said, and encouraged Chabad of Colorado Springs to come back stronger and not give in to the forces of hate.
Comparing Rabbi Liberow to a lamplighter, the Governor said, “people like you punch holes in the darkness.”
Rabbi Liberow presented the Governor and the delegation with the booklet about the Rebbe published by Lubavitch of Milwaukee.
Since the vandalism began a few weeks ago, the city has rallied together in support of the local Jewish community, Rabbi Liberow said.
The Governor’s office released a statement saying, “The City of Colorado Springs and State of Colorado are proud of the diversity of our residents.”
“The Jewish people are important members of our wonderful and diverse communities,” the statement continued. “Hate crimes will not be tolerated in Colorado Springs or elsewhere in our beautiful state.”