FAU Hillel to host event to combat antisemitism

The event will take place on Nov. 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mary Rasura, Staff Writer

Florida Atlantic University’s Hillel chapter will be hosting a “Spread Cream Cheese, Not Hate” event on Nov. 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will take place on the breezeway. If participants sign the pledge to combat antisemitism in the community, they will receive a free bagel. Interested participants can also click this link to volunteer to help the chapter. 

A Sept. 13 report from the Anti-Defamation League examined antisemitic incidents in Florida from 2020 to now. The ADL Center on Extremism recorded over 400 occurrences of white supremacist propaganda distribution across Florida. Hate crimes against Jews in Florida made up 80% of the religiously motivated incidents in 2020, and antisemitic hate crimes have increased 300% since 2012. 

Mia Evans, president of the organization, recalled the recent events of Kanye West’s statements involving antisemitism and the negative impact it had on the Jewish community.

“Antisemitism is growing at an enormously large rate, and it’s very scary for us Jews, especially with Kanye West having more followers on Twitter than Jews are in the world,” Evans said. “And so we just wanted to put on an event to make people know about it because a lot of the time it’s really only Jews fighting for ourselves and we want to get over 500 signatures of people pledging to combat antisemitism so that if you see it, you can stop it. And just make it known on this campus, because I don’t think it’s known as much.”

While FAU has not seen blatant instances of antisemitism, Assistant Director Lauren Oback believes it’s still important to raise awareness of the issue on campus. 

“There are great relationships amongst Hillel and the other Jewish organizations on campus, as well as with the organizations at large and with Student Government,” Oback said. “It’s really beautiful when you see the organizations, the student organizations constantly collaborating and working together and attending each other’s organizations’ events and such. The piece about why it’s important to attack this head on right now, even though we are at a peaceful campus more or less, is because if you don’t, it makes it sound like it’s okay.”

Evans looks at the influence the Jewish community has in her life, as she hopes to set a path that will live on beyond her.

“My mom became a rabbi when I was in high school, and then I went to Hebrew school all before that. And so the Jewish community has always been there for me in one way or another,” Evans said. “And so this is just something that I don’t want to let die. […] I want to be able to look at the Jewish community in 30 years, knowing that we’re still as strong as we were when I was younger. I don’t want the future generations to feel like there’s no one there for them because there should be.”

Mary Rasura is a staff writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or DM her on Instagram @maryrasura