WATCH: Connecticut City Employee Harasses Jewish Family Over Pro-Israel Yard Sign, Encourages Others To Join

New Haven mayor tells The Daily Wire his city is 'reviewing the matter' as Jewish residents say community is 'very shaken and felt targeted'
Thabisa Rich outside Jewish family home
Thabisa Rich outside a Jewish family’s home alongside a professional photo on her LinkedIn. (Source: Courtesy and LinkedIn)

A New Haven, Connecticut city official with an anti-Semitic social media history chanted ethnic cleansing slogans with a megaphone outside a Jewish family’s home, and encouraged others to return with her, according to video obtained by The Daily Wire. 

Thabisa Rich, New Haven’s Community Outreach Coordinator for the Department Arts, Cultural and Tourism, set up outside the home of local rabbi with a megaphone after spotting a “stand with Israel” yard sign, causing a scene in a residential neighborhood of the Connecticut city. Rabbi Elchanan Poupko said he was alerted of the woman’s demonstration by his concerned wife, and went out to confront her. 

“This Sunday, my wife informed me that someone was outside our house with a megaphone screaming pro-Palestinian chants,” Poupko told The Daily Wire. “I went outside and confronted her for protesting outside a private Jewish house when a car stopped and a masked man joined her.”

A representative for New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said Rich’s comments only represent herself and that they are “actively collecting information and reviewing the matter.”

“While people have very different and strongly held views on the war between Israel and Hamas, the mayor believes there is an appropriate time, place, and manner in which to express them,” the spokesperson told The Daily Wire. “Mayor Elicker believes Ms. Rich exercised very poor judgement in this regard and finds several of her personal social media posts to be concerning and offensive.”

Rich wiped her personal Facebook page where she posted video of her activism after The Daily Wire contacted her.

In videos posted of the incident by both Poupko and Rich, the city official can be heard repeatedly shouting “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a chant often used by pro-Palestinian radicals that is seen as a call for ethnic cleansing of the Jewish and other non-Arab populations that live in Israel. She was eventually joined by her husband Charlie Rich, who, wearing a mask, defended her actions and pressed the Jewish resident Poupko to denounce Israel.

“We were very shaken,” Poupko said. “It turns out they are both very prominent members of the community who came to harass us because of our ‘stand with Israel sign.’”

In addition to her role with the city, Rich is also a local prominent singer who performed with elementary school students last month. Charlie Rich, her husband seen in the video, is an Associate Director at the Hopkins School.

“We’re trying to get people to speak up,” Charlie Rich told Poupko when asked why the couple was on the street outside his home. “We’re advocating for peace.”

“How? By harassing Jews?” Poupko asked. “Harassing Jews is peace? What the heck is wrong with you?”

Poupko accused Thabisa Rich of engaging in “Nazi behavior,” to which Charlie Rich responded, “well, you do have a sign that says you support Israel.”

Thabisa Rich encouraged others to come back to the street with her during a livestream after she left the scene. 

“You tell me when you want to come back and ask for a ceasefire and ask for this people to stop their hate because they think that they are white and privileged and that they think that their religion is superior than the rest,” she stated. “I need people to show up to this very same street. We need to find a time to come back and show up in numbers and say no, enough is enough.”

“America is a country full of hate and racism and people need to just be honest and understand that is just what it is,” she said.

Poupko said the mayor called him on Monday over concern about the incident. 

“The reason he called is because there are many Jews in the neighborhood, and many were very shaken and felt targeted,” Poupko said, adding that his family recently moved to New Haven and had their first pro-Israel sign stolen last month.

Thabisa Rich Facebook posts

Thabisa Rich invoked anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish power and said she would not condemn the terrorist group Hamas in now-deleted posts to her Facebook.

Since Hamas’s October 7, massacre of over 1,000 Israelis, Rich has frequently commented on the war, including stating on February 3 that she does “not condemn Hamas.”

On November 20, she voiced her frustration with people who are not speaking up about the war by invoking anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish money and power.

“Your silence is starting to signify complacency,” she wrote. “I promise I understand that some of y’all have your pockets lined with bosses who are Jewish.”

During the Super Bowl on Sunday, Rich said she was “sick of these Jew focused ads [sic].”

“We have been witnessing Jewish folks inflicting hate,” she said in another post the same day. “It’s not made up.”

Thabisa Rich Facebook posts about America

Thabisa Rich, who often discusses her status as an immigrant, had multiple now-deleted posts to her Facebook about her disdain for the United States.

In multiple posts to her Facebook she expresses her disdain for America, despite living in the country as an immigrant from South Africa, including calling the U.S. “Amerikkka” and claiming it is run by “DICKtators.”

She commented on the situation with Poupko as well, stating that she was “insulted and intimidated by the jewish family (that just moved in 3 months ago) [sic].”

“She wrote on social media she is being harassed by a Jewish family when she is the one who showed up with a megaphone in front of my house,” Poupko said.

Rich did not respond to a request for comment.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  WATCH: Connecticut City Employee Harasses Jewish Family Over Pro-Israel Yard Sign, Encourages Others To Join