Protesters from the anti-gay, anti-Semitic Westboro Baptist Church got the freak-show treatment when they staged (very small) rallies outside New York City Jewish institutions this weekend, The New York Times reported. Passersby “gawked,” “jeered,” and threw the occasional sarcastic Nazi salute at the seven Topeka, Kansas-based protesters when they showed up at the Jewish Theological Seminary and various synagogues with “Jews killed Christ” and “God hates Israel” placards. At Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, the gay synagogue in Greenwich Village, the Westboro picketers were greatly outnumbered by more than 100 counterprotesters.
In fact, the protest was if anything a boon to CBST. Synagogue leaders asked supporters to pledge a dollar or more in donations for each minute the Westboro members spent picketing, according to a report in the New York Daily News. The congregation raised $10,000.