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Seattle campaign to educate on the Jewish experience post-Oct. 7

“We are being targeted in our neighborhoods, synagogues, schools and our places of work,” said Seattle resident Jason Okrent.

Seattle skyline. Credit: Veronika_Andrews/Pixabay.
Seattle skyline. Credit: Veronika_Andrews/Pixabay.

Jewish leaders in the state of Washington announced a campaign urging participants to use the hashtags #CallOutHate and #CallItAntsemitism to help educate about the rise in bigotry against Jews.

Solly Kane, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, said at a March 25 press conference at the Holocaust Center for Humanity in Seattle, that “in recent months, Jewish communities worldwide have faced an alarming surge in antisemitism, leaving many feeling isolated and vulnerable. This campaign presents a clarion call to allies and people of conscience to stand in solidarity with the Jewish community as we confront and denounce hatred and bigotry in all its insidious forms.”

The campaign’s goal is to educate others about antisemitism so they know when to speak out against it. It plans to use in-person events including meetings with local businesses, schools, and political leaders.

Other speakers included Audrey L. Covner, who chairs the campaign’s sponsor the Cross Communal Response to Antisemitism and Hate Steering Committee; and Max Patashnik, the director of JCRC and government affairs for the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. Parent Ishai Shvartz and lawyer Bridget Schuster also participated.

Shvartz reported that his children had heard antisemitic remarks at school, including his daughter hearing that Jews were experiencing “Holocaust 2.0,” according to The Seattle Times

He said, “I spoke with teachers, principals, district directors. So far, we have met with indifference, ignorance, incompetence in their ability to stop that flood of hate crossing over.”

Event attendee Jason Okrent told JNS that “there’s a growing disconnect between how Jews are talked about in the public discourse and how we are feeling on the ground after Oct. 7. We are being targeted in our neighborhoods, synagogues, schools and our places of work.” 

Okrent said that his family had lived in Seattle for five generations and had never experienced “anything like this.”

“The campaign kickoff event was the first-of-its-kind showcasing the real lived experience of Jewish communities in America,” he said. “We put Jewish hatred on trial, and by doing so, built a platform for people to stand up and do something about it.”

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