Jewish Federation of Madison voices concern about recent local, national anti-Semitic incidents

MADISON, Wis. — A local Jewish organization is voicing concern about a recent series of high-profile anti-Semitic incidents locally and nationally.

Both Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving and Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, have made anti-Semitic comments that attracted significant backlash at the national level.

“We’re profoundly concerned about the increase in anti-Semitic acts and acts of violence,” said Alan Klugman with the Jewish Federation of Madison.

Additionally, Madison has had its own instances of anti-Semitism as well. Someone wrote anti-Semitic messages in chalk on the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s campus in September.

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“It’s regrettable,” said Klugman “It should not have happened.”

Then, over Halloween weekend, a man was seen wearing an Adolf Hitler costume on State Street.

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He was fired from his job at the Madison Children’s Museum on Tuesday. Madison police said the man has a cognitive impairment, but his actions still led to a response from the museum and UW-Madison about the hate these actions can cause.

“When somebody is cognitively impaired, I’m not sure that we can say it’s as vicious a form of anti-Semitism,” said Klugman.

Klugman says all the events at this specific time of year are disappointing for this community.

“I think, unfortunately, some of it may have to do with this being on election season,” said Klugman. “I think, unfortunately, there are some people who are using fear to win votes. And that’s regrettable.”

Though hatred against this community can take different forms, it’s still seen on social media, and in our own communities.  Klugman says it’s important to remember the people who these words refer to and make the effort to stop this speech.

“We can best support this community by standing up to all forms of hatred, including anti-Semitism, when when we see it, we have to report it. Fiercely, and immediately,” said Klugman.