WATCH NOW: Jewish leaders concerned about anti-Semitic fliers recently found in Kenosha neighborhoods | Local News
Anti-Semitic propaganda has been disseminated in neighborhoods of the city and Jewish leaders are deeply concerned about it.
Rabbi Dena Feingold, who runs Temple Beth Hillel, 6050 Eighth Ave., said she was told about pamphlets placed in rice sacks in the Sunnyside and Allendale neighborhoods.
One of the pamphlets, obtained by the Kenosha News, claims that “every aspect of the COVID agenda is Jewish.” The pamphlet had a Star of David printed on top and listed many lies about Jews.
“I first heard about it in late December from members of my congregation,” Feingold said. “It’s very upsetting and disturbing.”
Feingold said anti-Semitism has increased in recent years. About two weeks ago, a North Texas synagogue was taken hostage by a terrorist.
“Anti-Semitism has been on the rise in our country for some time,” Feingold said. “It’s too bad the shooter (from Texas) had similar thoughts. … The false myth that Jews control the world.
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Feingold said it was crucial that people “are there to say it’s not true,” she said. “This is hate speech and it cannot be tolerated.”
She said Temple Beth Hillel is secure, but few major events are currently taking place there due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Feingold said she alerted the Kenosha Police Department about the letters and said an investigation is underway. Kenosha Police Sgt. Jeff Galley said the department was aware of the situation and no one knew at this stage where the anti-Semitic propaganda was coming from.
“We were informed a few days ago,” he said, adding that it was at the start of the investigation.
Rabbi Tzali Wilschanski, director of Chabad of Kenosha, expressed similar concerns.
“It’s really disturbing when that happens and people just hate for the hate,” he said. “(Apart from) being diligent and not having your head in the sand, you recognize the environment. The way we deal with darkness adds light.
Wilschanski added “unfortunately it pops up every two years” and that anti-Semitism can result from a lack of education.
“A lot of it comes from a lack of understanding and education,” he said. “We need to dispel it with more light.”
Allendale resident Dan Mundell found the anti-Semitic pamphlets while walking his dog. He and his neighbors are worried.
“We found those all over the neighborhood,” Mundell said. “Several ladies from my wife’s book club also found some.”
Mundell said area residents will remain vigilant and keep an eye out for suspicious vehicles.
“It’s crazy,” he said. “I really do not understand.”
After the Texas attack, the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement calling on local law enforcement organizations to help protect their Jewish communities.
“The risks remain high given the historic level of anti-Semitism across the country and the proliferation of anti-Jewish hatred online,” the statement said. “ADL offices across the country will be contacting local law enforcement in the coming days to ensure steps are being taken to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish community.”
Today in History: February 1