The New York Police Department is looking for three women who are allegedly behind a spree of assaults on Jewish people.

According to police, the suspects slapped a three-year-old boy across the face last Friday and pulled an eighteen-year-old girl to the ground on Sunday. Shortly after, the women reportedly slapped a nine-year-old boy on the head repeatedly.

All three of the victims were said to have been visibly Jewish. 

Anyone with information on the incidents is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or reach out via the CrimeStoppers website or on Twitter @NYPDTips

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Image credit: New York Police Department

Hundreds of residents of the Pennsylvania town of Lancaster turned out to support the town’s Jewish community after a chanukiah in the town-centre was vandalised

The custom built steel chanukiah, which was designed by Mark Joshua Lewin, was damaged just hours after its unveiling in Penn Square.

On Sunday, the first night of Chanukah, hundreds of residents came out to support the city’s Jewish community. Messages of support and concern were also posted on social media and around the town.

A message board outside a Quaker hall read: “We stand with our Jewish neighbours: there is no room for hate in Lancaster County.”

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Image credit: Combat Antisemitism

Antisemitic flyers alleging that the COVID-19 pandemic has been masterminded by Jews were distributed to Beverly Hills homes. 

The flyers were found yesterday, shortly before the Jewish community ushered in the first night of Chanukah. Written at the top reads “Every single aspect of the COVID agenda is Jewish” alongside the domain “goyim.tv”, a website affiliated with the “Goyim Defence League”, a group whose membership reportedly contains several neo-Nazis and is understood to be led by Jon Minadeo II. The group is responsible for stunts such as visiting a Chabad centre to claim that “these Jewish terrorists” were behind 9/11, and hanging a banner on a Los Angeles overpass reading “Honk if you know the Jews want a race war.” Earlier this year, Mr Minadeo II created t-shirts carrying antisemitic slogans such as the Holocaust was “a hoax”. Most recently, they hung a banner from a bridge in Austin, Texas that read “Vax the Jews”.

The Beverly Hills Police Department released a statement in which it labelled the event a “hate incident” and confirmed that an investigation was underway. The police received a call from a resident shortly after 18:00 yesterday who reported “a flyer containing hate speech.” After undertaking a search, police discovered that more flyers of the same design, enclosed inside plastic bags of rice in order to anchor them, had been distributed across other homes nearby.

The flyer was described as a single eight-and-a-half-inch by eleven-inch sheet of paper that contained “propaganda style hate speech related to the COVID pandemic and the Jewish people.”

Singer Pat Boone said that “There is no rational reason for this kind of prejudice or bigotry. It is not founded on anything that makes any sense at all,” while Beverly Hills Mayor Robert Wunderlich reportedly said: “All too often Beverly Hills has been a target for various sorts of hate crimes and we won’t tolerate it.” 

Anyone with information regarding the incident was urged to call the police at 310-550-4951.

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A jury in Virginia has found that prominent white supremacists and white-supremacist organisations are liable for more than $26 million (£19.5 million) in damages from the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, in which one civil rights activist was killed and dozens were injured.

During the rally, held to oppose the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, white supremacists marched through the town carrying torches and chanting “Jews will not replace us.”

The case, seeking damages for the physical and emotional injuries caused at the rally, was brought about by the civil rights organisation “Integrity First for America”, alongside those injured in the violence as well as other town residents. The jury in the civil trial heard testimony for four weeks and took three days to deliberate.

Evidence entered in the trial known as Sines v. Kessler included social media posts, text messages and online chats between the rally organisers. According to the jury, the plaintiffs proved that the defendants – who included event organiser Jason Kessler and Richard Spencer, thought to have coined the term “alt-right” – violated a Virginia conspiracy law in advance of the event.

In her testimony, Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt said that there was “a great deal of overt antisemitism and adulation of the Third Reich.” Ms Lipstadt added that “very few things” surprised her, but she was “taken aback” by the evidence she saw.

According to reports, antisemitic slurs and hate speech were frequently heard from defendants during the trial, with defendant Michael Hill pledging during testimony that he was “a white supremacist, a racist, an antisemite, a homophobe, a xenophobe, an Islamophobe, and any other sort of ‘phobe’ that benefits my people, so help me God.’”

Commenting on the result in a statement, Integrity First for America said that the case had sent “a clear message” that “violent hate won’t go unanswered.” The statement added: “At a moment of rising extremism, major threats to our democracy, and far too little justice, the case has provided a model of accountability.”

During the 2017 violence, white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr drove his car into a crowd, killing civil rights activist Heather Heyer and injuring dozens. Mr Fields was convicted of murder in 2019 and sentenced to life in prison.

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A far-right influencer who reportedly stormed the US Capitol earlier this year has now been charged with damaging a Chanukah display in Arizona. 

Tim Gionet, who is also known as “Baked Alaska” and has been accused of harbouring neo-Nazi views, faces charges of criminal damage and attempted criminal damage after allegedly vandalising the Chanukah display at the Arizona Capitol building in Phoenix in December 2020.

One of the organisers of the Chanukah presentation at Wesley Bolin Plaza stated that video footage shows Mr Gionet tearing a sign off the festive display. Arizona’s Rabbi Levi Levertov said that he viewed the incident as “an attack on an entire community.”  

Mr Gionet also faces charges over allegedly storming the US Capitol during the riot on 6th January, and is also awaiting sentencing after he was convicted of assault, disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing in an incident in which authorities state that he shot pepper spray at an employee at a bar in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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An Ohio man who spat on his Jewish neighbours and told them that Adolf Hitler should have gassed them has been sentenced to six months’ imprisonment. 

The man has also been ordered to pay a fine of $50,000 and one year of supervised release for criminally interfering with the right to fair housing. 

Court documents reveal how on 7th November 2020, Douglas G. Schifer, 66, broke his neighbours’ windows, spat on them, and hurled antisemitic abuse and threats towards them.

Mr Schifer was quoted as saying: “All you f***ing people, it’s no wonder Hitler burned you people in ovens,” “f***ing Hitler should have gassed you,” and “Jews burn, you belong in ovens.” He also threatened to shoot both his neighbours and their dog.

Mr Schifer’s trial was held in July, where he pleaded guilty in federal court to criminally interfering with the right to fair housing.

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Swastikas that were spray-painted on a road in Lehigh Acres, Florida remained there for weeks before being removed, it has been reported

The Nazi symbols are understood to have been painted over on Friday, though not before being discovered by local residents.

One resident stated that what bothered him the most was “that someone with that sort of attitude would even be in this area.” 

It was also pointed out that the symbols were “down the road” from one of the local school bus stops.

Gerald Reisdorf, another member of the community, said: “I guess they maybe want to send a message. ‘What message?’ I don’t know. You know, to me, it’s childish.

“I’m old enough to know what the second world war is about… all of that stuff, you know. And I thought that was behind us.”

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A man in Manhattan had his kippah grabbed from his head by an unidentified male who also made an antisemitic comment, it was reported on Friday.

According to the NYPD Hate Crimes Unit, when asked to give back the kippah, the assailant allegedly threw it at the 34-year-old victim. Police said the attacker and the victim did not know each other. 

In a tweet that referred to a “disgusting” act, Mayor Bill De Blasio wrote: “Get the message: if you commit an act of antisemitism in our city you will face the consequences.” 

Alongside an image of the suspect issued by police, Mayor De Blasio added: “If you have any information on this disgusting act, contact the NYPD immediately.” 

A local website cited statistics from the NYPD noting that up until 31st October 2021, hate crimes against New York City’s Jewish residents had increased by 48 percent since 2020, with 164 attacks compared to 111. 

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Image credit: New York Police Department

A painting by Vincent Van Gogh that was stolen from its Jewish owner by the Nazis has been sold at auction for $35,855,000, a record for a Van Gogh painting on paper at auction.

The “Meules de blé” (“Wheatstacks”) watercolour was completed in 1888 and purchased by German Jewish art collector Max Meirowsky in 1913. In 1938, Meirowsky fled antisemitism in Germany for Amsterdam, leaving the painting with an art dealer who sold it to Alexandrine de Rothschild.

When Rothschild left Germany for Switzerland, her art collection was stolen by the Nazis.

The painting’s whereabouts until the 1970s are a mystery, but in 1979 American businessman Ed Cox bought it in New York.

Last week it went on sale again, with an agreement facilitated by Christie’s auction house that the proceeds from the record bid will be divided between the late Mr Cox’s estate and the descendants of Meirowsky and Rothschild.

It is understood that this agreement resolves any dispute over the ownership of the masterpiece.

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Image credit: Christie’s

A rare letter being put up for auction reveals Albert Einstein’s concerns over antisemitism in American academia.

The 1936 missive, sent to Einstein’s friend Bruno Eisner, the Austrian Jewish pianist, when Eisner was staying in New York and considering a position in academia in the United States, is being put up for auction by the Jerusalem-based Kedem Auction House.

Einstein wrote in the handwritten letter: “A tremendous degree of antisemitism exists here, especially in academia (though also in industry and banking).”

The Nobel laureate elaborated: “Mind you, it never takes the form of brutal speech or action, but simmers all the more intensely under the surface. It is, so to speak, an omnipresent enemy, one that is impossible to see, and whose presence you only perceive.”

Einstein observed that “the assignment of positions is completely disorganized, so you find out about vacancies at any given location only through personal connections,” and revealed that his assistant was driven from the country by antisemitism and took a position in Russia instead.

Eisner went on to a career as a concert pianist and professor of music with positions at universities and music academies across the United States until his death in 1978.

The letter will reportedly be auctioned this week with a suggested price of NIS 40,000 (£9,600).Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Image credit: Kedem Auction House

Antisemitic flyers were found at a church in Westfield, New Jersey.

The flyers at the Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church reportedly threatened harm.

Ethan Prosnit, the senior rabbi at Temple Emanu-El of Westfield, said: “The Westfield Clergy Association met and discussed the flyers and I thank my clergy partners who brought the antisemitic literature to the authorities.

“I am proud to be in a community where my faith partners take antisemitism seriously and where we work together to make our town a place that honours diversity.”

Swastikas have been found in public spaces in Westfield in the past.

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Image credit: Google

An arson attack on a synagogue in Austin, Texas has prompted a resolution by the City Council to condemn antisemitism and seek ways to combat hate. 

The attack on Austin’s Congregation Beth Israel on the night of 31st October was the latest in a series of incidents in the Texas city. In its response to the incidents, the Austin City Council passed a resolution condemning “all hateful speech and violent action that…promotes racism or discrimination, or harms the Jewish community.”

Speaking at the council session, Council Member Alison Alter said recent events were “simply further evidence of the challenges” the city faced. “The reality is that the hate is here, and we need to up our game, to lead our community, and to devote focus and attention so hate does not take root in our community.”

The resolution directs the Austin City Manager to work with local groups, including the ADL, “to review and then identify and implement improvements to the City’s response to hate.”

These improvements should include training for city staff to educate “participants in how hate manifests; how to effectively respond to incidents of hate; and how social media is used to propagate hate.”

Damage to the synagogue was so severe that its rabbi, Steve Folberg, and President, Lori Adelman, said in a message to congregants that it would take “weeks rather than days” to get their “sanctuary fit for occupancy” leading them to seek temporary accommodation for services.

A few days after the incident, some 500 people, including clergy and political leaders, gathered at the oldest synagogue in Texas – the B’nai Abraham – to condemn antisemitism. Rabbi Folberg and Ms Adelman said the rally and “expressions of solidarity” had been a source of strength for all  those “facing the practical and emotional demands of beginning to heal our community from this attack.”

In a media release, the Austin Fire Department issued stills from a security video of the arson suspect and his vehicle. The release said that the suspect had driven into the synagogue car park in a black SUV and approached the building carrying a five-gallon gasoline can. He then returned to his vehicle. The FBI is also now investigating the incident.

A series of antisemitic incidents in Austin have included the vandalising of a local high school with Nazi symbols, a banner hung from an overpass reading “Vax the Jews,” and the display of antisemitic posters on a local street.

Two of the incidents were allegedly committed by a local hate group calling itself the Goyim Defence League”, a group whose membership reportedly contains several neo-Nazis and is understood to be led by Jon Minadeo II. The group is responsible for stunts such as visiting a Chabad centre to claim that “these Jewish terrorists” were behind 9/11, and hanging a banner on a Los Angeles overpass reading “Honk if you know the Jews want a race war.” Earlier this year, Mr Minadeo II created t-shirts carrying antisemitic slogans such as the Holocaust was “a hoax”.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project. 

An Ohio man has pleaded guilty to spitting on his Jewish neighbours and telling them that Adolf Hitler should have gassed them.

Court documents reveal how Douglas G. Schifer, 66, broke his neighbours’ windows, spat on them, and hurled antisemitic abuse and threats towards them.

Mr Schifer was quoted as saying: “All you f***ing people, it’s no wonder Hitler burned you people in ovens,” “f***ing Hitler should have gassed you,” and “Jews burn, you belong in ovens.” He also threatened to shoot both his neighbours and their dog.

Mr Schifer, 66, pleaded guilty in federal court to criminally interfering with the right to fair housing and faces up to one year’s imprisonment. He may also have to pay a fine of $100,000.

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A teacher has resigned following a controversy at a New Jersey primary school after a student assignment about Adolf Hitler was criticised as glorifying the Nazi leader and diminishing the Holocaust.

The row blew up when a pupil from Maugham Elementary School in Tenafly allegedly dressed up as Hitler where the images were then reportedly shared on social media. Text from the class project was also said to have been shared. Writing in the first person from the perspective of Hitler, the pupil wrote: “I was very popular and many people followed me until I died. My belif [sic] in antisemitism drove me to kill more than 6 million Jews.

The backlash began soon after the Facebook post by Lori Birk who said that “the assignment” had been sent to her by a friend with a child at the school who was concerned that the photo and text had been prominently displayed in “a school hallway.

On her post, which has been removed, Ms Birk wrote that it was “ignorance, antisemitism and hatred taught at a fifth grade level,” adding: “Shame on the parents who helped their child dress as Hitler and the teacher who has approved such hatred.”

In a joint statement with the school board, Tenafly Public Schools Superintendent Shauna DeMarco explained that the project had been to “look at historical figures who personified good and evil” and in that context, it was “unfair to judge any student or teacher.

Ms DeMarco also noted that the teacher involved “happens to be Jewish” and had “asked students to speak from the perspective of one of these individuals.” People seeing the students’ projects “displayed in the school” did not understand the project, “resulting in justifiable concerns.

Following its investigation, the school board voted to accept the resignation of the unnamed teacher and reinstated the school Principal Jennifer Ferrara. School board President Jocelyn Schwarz said the administration would work with Ms Ferrara to “foster a safe learning environment.”

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