It took a moment for it all to sink in with Dr. Brian Schnitzer. While working in his home office in early December 1993, he heard a loud noise upstairs. It was only when he felt the brisk, winter breeze at his desk that he knew something wasn’t right.
Once he found his son’s broken bedroom window, which was displaying a menorah, he knew the messages being sent to the Jewish community of Billings had taken a violent turn.
“This was across the red line. Even when (they were) calling your phone, you have the choice of whether to pick up or not, or hang up. Somehow, this was very different. They knew where you lived and they had picked a child’s bedroom… It was obviously a child’s bedroom and the window is obviously decorated with children’s symbols of the winter holidays,” Schnitzer said.
Brian Schnitzer, whose window was broken by the thrown stone in 1993, tends to a menorah before the lighting of the menorahs as part of the 25th Anniversary of Not in Our Town at Congregation Beth Aaron in 2017.