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Jewish Community, Allies To Gather To Stand Against Antisemitism

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Tana Weingartner
/
WVXU
The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati is housed in the Mayerson JCC building.

Rising incidents of antisemitism across the world and in Cincinnati are increasingly concerning for members of the local Jewish community. The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati and a handful of related organizations plan to gather Sunday, June 13 to take a stand against antisemitism.

The event, Under the Tent: Standing Together Against Antisemitism, came about after people said they felt the need to come together "to really be together as a Jewish community, to show solidarity with one another," says Jackie Congedo, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council with the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.

"...and also to stand with allies and friends in the civic and broader community to speak with one voice that antisemitism is unacceptable. It's dangerous to all of us as Americans who live in a free and pluralist society; and it's something we can have no tolerance for."

Congedo points to local incidents of antisemitic rhetoric, graffiti and people being targeted because of outward signs of their Jewish faith. She also points to the spike worldwide created by the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas.

As NPR reports, "During nearly two weeks of fighting, the Anti-Defamation League, or ADL, tracked a 75% spike in antisemitic incidents in the U.S., including brazen assaults, vandalism, harassment, and hate speech."

Criticism of policies, government and politicians is fine and acceptable, she says, but violent attacks and "defaming and demonizing the Jewish state writ large, and certainly Jews, that is blatant antisemitism and we need to be very clear in speaking up against that. It's dangerous."

Sunday's event is at 2:30 p.m. at the Mayerson JCC. People can participate in-person or via Zoom.

Pro-Palestinian groups have also gathered locally in recent weeks to show solidarity and hold vigils for people in Gaza and Palestine.

Last month, NPR's podcast, Throughline, took a deep look into the violence engulfing Gaza, Jerusalem, and the entire region for a century, and a root cause: settlements and displacement. You can listen to the conversation with Historian Rashid Khalidi here.