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"Hi She'amda" (without the Vav) appears in Haggadot of Eretz Yisrael. See Safrai's book on the Haggadah for two versions.
A comparison with the firebombing of synagogues in the Boston inner-city neighborhood of Dorchester-Mattapan in 1970 (as part of a blockbusting drive) might be useful. There is literature on this episode, including The Death of an American Jewish Community: A Tragedy of Good Intentions.
by Hillel Levine and Lawrence Harmon.
Center for Textual Studies
I also have some first-hand knowledge, having served as rabbi of Temple Beth Am (in the Rochester suburb of Henrietta) from 1982-86. I was surprised that the actual event was as early as 1970 as it was something many members were conscious of. I always remember it being attributed to mafia actions, perhaps to distract the police. I am still in touch with a few long-time Rochester residents who may have recollections to add.
Vehi She'amda appears in medieval manuscripts and in the Siddur of Rav Sa'adia Gaon (882-942). Sorry I can't pin down the exact date of the first uses.
Take a look at Jewish Social Studies (23.3): "Sanctuary for the Specialist: Gender and the Reconceptualization of the American Orthodox Rabbinate" by Adam Ferziger.
How do hala, niddah and hadlakat ha-ner as women's mitzvot have to do with shabbat, kashrut and nida?
Following up on Dr. Yisrael Medad's post, please see:
Check out Peter Eisenstadt's history of Temple B'rith Kodesh, or better yet, get in touch with him directly. He knows an enormous amount of Rochester Jewish history.
Speaking as a primary source, my family moved to Rochester in 1976, when I was 12. We joined Beth Shalom, one of the bombed synagogues. I remember someone pointing out the signs the synagogue wall had been repaired, but I don't remember any discussions of the bombings representing anything other than mafia mishegas. I'd be happy to arrange in interview with my father, who would remember how the Jewish community presented itself at the time.
Ben Yehuda Press