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Lexington rabbi says antisemitism rampant on UK’s campus

Several groups hosting antisemitism symposium
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 11:29 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Members of Lexington’s Jewish community are calling attention to an incident they say happened at a UK fraternity.

They say fraternity members made Hitler references and Holocaust jokes towards a Jewish pledge.

Religious leaders say it’s part of a larger problem of antisemitism on UK’s campus and across the county.

Rabbi Shlomo Litvin with Chabad of the Bluegrass says this specific incident only came to light because of an organization called Jewish on Campus.

Litvin says antisemitism has been rampant on UK’s campus.

“The other night I was sitting on the porch with a student as two other UK students walked by, one suggested they should urinate on the Jew’s lawn,” Rabbi Litvin said. ”Just yesterday, there was a huge display outside the student center where the Holocaust was being used as a political point.”

Litvin says it’s not just a Kentucky problem, but a national one.

Still, he says other universities have done more to address it while he says UK just made a generic statement.

The rabbi is calling for UK to adopt the Jewish community’s definition of antisemitism, as the state of Kentucky has.

”Individual acts of hate certainly can be explained away and can be fixed by education but choosing not to counter it, choosing not to speak out is a choice and it’s not an issue of ignorance it’s an issue of apathy,” Rabbi Litvin said.

Another problem the rabbi mentions is the internet.

He says apps like Facebook, Twitter and Clubhouse have given opportunities to speak your mind without being held accountable.

In the wake of these incidents, Jewish students at UK joined with local and national partners to bring attention to and educate others on Jew hatred through a symposium.

It’s Sunday, May 2nd.

It will be free, virtual, and open to the entire community.

To register, email UKCJSC@gmail.com

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