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Antisemitic fliers at Maryland high school part of broader pattern

The problem runs deeper than headlines suggest, said a local Holocaust educator.

Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Md., where “Jews Not Welcome” was recently spray painted on a school sign. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Md., where “Jews Not Welcome” was recently spray painted on a school sign. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Twice in the past two weeks, antisemitic fliers appeared at Northwood High School in Silver Spring, Md., prompting an investigation by the Montgomery County police. Swastikas have appeared at multiple county schools, and someone spray painted “Jews Not Welcome” on a school sign. Students have also allegedly made antisemitic threats.

Some 10% of Montgomery County, Maryland’s 1.05 million residents is Jewish reportedly, representing 45% of the state’s Jewish population.

“Each day that passes, I fear we are moving closer to a day where it’s not just scrawled on a sign, where it’s not just drawn on a desk, but that our kids are being placed in physical harm,” Adam Zimmerman, who teaches about the Holocaust at a Rockville, Md. synagogue, told WUSA9.

In response to the rise in antisemitism, the county increased funds for school security. Will Jawando, a county councilman, described the incidents as “a spike.”

“We have to say this is wrong. It’s not acceptable. We’re investigating anything that is done like this as a hate crime,” he said.

Zimmerman and Jawando both suspect that national rhetoric of politicians and celebrities may have contributed to the increase in the county schools’ hate crimes, they told the CBS affiliate.

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