Campus, city show support for UK Jewish community after anti-Semitic vandalism

Published: Jan. 25, 2018 at 11:01 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

They are standing together and moving past hate.

The University of Kentucky's Jewish community held a unity and solidarity prayer service Thursday night after facing purported anti-Semitic vandalism last week. Dozens of folks from across campus and the commonwealth, from all walks of life, joined together at the service to support them.

Surveillance video

outside the Jewish Student Center on Columbia Avenue last week, breaking the sign from its posts. Lexington Police are investigating.

Rabbi Shlomo Litvin of the Chabad of the Bluegrass told WKYT's Garrett Wymer that he heard a group outside saying things like "Heil Hitler" and "Get the Jews" before he looked out the window and saw them break the sign.

Since then, Rabbi Litvin says the outpouring of support has been overwhelming. On Thursday night, Rabbi Litvin and others - including his father, Rabbi Avrohom Litvin - preached that light is stronger than darkness, love is stronger than hate, and there is more that unites us than divides us.

"The biblical command to love your fellow as yourself means look beyond those things that can divide us or seem to be different - race and gender and religion and background and all those differences - and look to the core," said Rabbi Avrohom Litvin. "And at a core level, each and every one of us are children of God."

Since the vandalism, Rabbi Shlomo Litvin said he is looking forward, not backward. Anti-Semitism and hate won't stop their mission, he said. In fact, he said their group is now launching several new initiatives to teach the campus community about their faith and culture, build bridges with other community members, and bring together those in the Jewish faith.

He urged everyone to be a light in the community.

"Never turn a blind eye to prejudice against you or against others," he said, "but we can also not let darkness be the force in our lives."

A proclamation from Lexington Mayor Jim Gray declaring Thursday "Chabad of the Bluegrass Day" in honor of their good work was also read at the event.