The Dallas Holocaust Museum has asked Dallas Holocaust survivors to stay home for the day on Friday, July 9. But the museum will open its doors free beginning at 1 p.m.
The Fred Phelps clan of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., is scheduled to picket the museum at 2:15 p.m. WBC’s picket schedule also includes a number of other stops around Dallas this weekend targeting the Jewish community.
Laura Martin, the Dallas Police Department’s liaison to the LGBT community, asked people not to engage the Phelps clan. They make their money suing anyone and everyone — including the police, she said.
Holocaust Museum President Alice Murray agreed.
“We do not want to legitimatize the hatred of a small number of people who comprise this group by inadvertently providing fodder for media coverage,” she said.
The museum will be open with docents promoting its mission of tolerance and be selling its “upstander” T-shirts.
Rafael McDonnell of Resource Center Dallas said donations have been pouring in for “Hell Freezes Over,” the counterprotest fundraiser to replace the Center’s ice maker. He expects the new Westboro Baptist Church Memorial Ice Maker to be fully funded by Friday evening.
The Phelps gang is expected to gather near the Center at 6:15 p.m. The parking lots will be blocked off so McDonnell recommends street parking.
McDonnell said someone will have a stop watch and a horn. After one minute, he said, the horn will blow and people will throw money into a Pride flag. Each minute Phelps protests, more money will be raised.
“Bring lots of singles,” he said.
Bottled water and Fig Newtons will be served. “Figs” refers to a biblical quote Phelps used to denounce Dallas’ Jewish community.
The target of the evening Phelps protest is Congregation Beth El Binah, a Reform synagogue that meets at the Resource Center. (Full disclosure: I am a member of Congregation Beth El Binah and received the original fax from the Phelps gang about their impending visit).
Beth El Binah’s services will be held on a normal schedule. Everyone is welcome. Rabbi Jeffrey Leynor conducts services that last about an hour beginning at 7:30 p.m.