Today is December 15, 2019 -

Local Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism have been running rampant on college campuses around the country. While not incident-free, our local schools, fortunately, have been much more tolerant. And so, when an event occurs, we take notice.

On Tuesday morning, a UAlbany student shared her political views on Israel in a profanity-laced message drawn in the snow in a very public part of the campus. We thank the university for quickly removing the message and issuing a public statement condemning the action.

A march was quickly organized for Thursday afternoon to “promote love, advocate no hate, and come together as one.” Thank you again to the university and the university police department for their support of the march.

Thank you to Rabbi Nomi Manon of UAlbany Hillel and Rabbi Mendel and Raizy Rubin of Shabbos House for taking the point on coordinating the campus and the community support, rallying the university and the police, and taking care of our students.

Thank you to Jewish student groups: Great Danes for Israel and the AEPi fraternity for their involvement. Thank you to the UAlbany Democrats for acknowledging that the obscene act was perpetrated by one of its members and their immediate condemnation of the action.

Thank you to Hillel International and the Capital District Board of Rabbis for their support. Thank you to the Schenectady Clergy Against Hate and Jewish Federation’s Interfaith partners for their kind messages of solidarity. Thank you to Jewish Family Services, on hand to lend counseling services if needed. Thank you to the eighth-grade students of Hebrew Academy for marching with the community.

Of course, thank you to the Community Relations Council of Jewish Federation for spending the past few days on the phone and over e-mail with nearly everyone listed above.

At last week’s JFNA conference on security, two relationships were emphasized as critical components of a community’s overall safety strategy: interfaith relations and relations with law enforcement. This has been our strategy for many years, and we should all be very pleased with reaping the rewards of this work over the course of this challenging week.

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