Submitted by (See signatures below)
We as members of Greenwich’s Jewish and Jewish allied community, are deeply disturbed by the recent antisemitic and racist incidents that have tarnished our community. The Greenwich Police Department’s report of recruitment flyers for a white supremacist Neo Nazi group distributed in driveways, along with the discovery of a swastika and offensive graffiti in two middle schools, is an alarming wake-up call to the pressing issue of antisemitism right at our doorstep.
This unsettling trend is not isolated; it echoes a national crisis, as evidenced by the surge of antisemitic incidents on college campuses. The sheer volume of incidents demands urgent attention, with the media unable to keep up with the frequency.
Superintendent Dr. Jones has communicated with families about the school incidents and this is a step in the right direction.
The Anti Defamation League sites a 400% increase in antisemitic incidents since the October 7th Hamas attack.
In 2022 FBI reported that Jewish victims of religious hate crime far outnumber any other religious group by a shocking amount; 1305 incidents compared to the next largest religious hate crime target of 205 incidents.
We need leadership who are vocal, and emphatic regarding denouncement of antisemitism, accompanied by a transparent outline of proactive measures the town is taking to curb its spread within Greenwich.
We call upon all members of Greenwich’s members of congress, town leadership and community leaders to unite and respond decisively to the growing threat of antisemitism.
Antisemitism, unfortunately, appears to be an acceptable form of hate, finding refuge on both the far left and far right. Unfortunately there is no one source of this culmination.
Neo Nazi groups have been growing in power for years and are using the Israel Gaza war divide to capitalize on anti Israel sentiments, whereas college campus student groups and some faculty are exploiting ideas of colonialism, in turn igniting antisemitism.
This demands our immediate attention, and I implore our elected representatives to articulate a comprehensive strategy to combat this danger.
In the past few days, the Jewish community has painfully realized that the solemn vow of “Never Again” now echoes as “Definitely Again.” Our community urgently needs:
- Strong leadership and self-reflection on the kind of leadership that has divided the entire country
- Rise of antisemitism educational initiatives
- Additional steps on the behalf of Greenwich Schools, inclusive of addressing Greenwich graduates who are on campus or heading to colleges hostile to Jewish students
- Vocal opposition to antisemitism strengthened by allyship from neighbors and friends
- Clear consequences for antisemitic hate
- Development of legislation that addresses hate speech, social media misinformation and antisemitism.
Let our community stand as a beacon of resilience against hatred, demonstrating by clear action that our leaders are committed to eradicating antisemitism in all its forms. We look forward to a response from our town leaders, members of congress and any other community leaders.
|Henry David Moses
|Rinat Levy Cohen
|Mary Ellen Markowitz
|Diana and Alex Orbanowski
|Lindsey K Levine, PhD