Rabbi: UK Jewish Student Center vandalized in apparent hate crime

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)-A Lexington Jewish leader is asking people to speak out against hate after someone vandalized the University of Kentucky’s Jewish Student Center over the weekend.

Rabbi Shlomo Litvin says someone targeted the center’s sign and menorah in an apparent hate crime.

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According to the Rabbi, the menorah was leaning dangerously on Sunday morning, but it’s been fixed. The Rabbi says the sign should be fixed by the end of the week.

He says especially during COVID-19 these physical symbols can be a reminder to students, their community is still with them.

“Having that sign that you do have a home here on campus. You are welcome here in Lexington, especially for students coming, either from places with a very large Jewish community, or a place with no Jewish community, they’re building their Jewish identity now in college, that sign has tremendous value to them,” he said.

Litvin says this is particularly disturbing after recent threats he’s received and several hate crimes against Jewish centers across the country.

He says Lexington Police are investigating and he hopes other community members will speak out against hate.

“The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, the foremost leader of Judaism in the modern era, whose teachings and vision inspired the establishment of our Center, taught ‘God gave each of us a soul, which is a candle that He gives us to illuminate our surroundings with His light,’ and that ‘a little bit of light will dispel a great deal of darkness’ We pledge to continue to be that light,” Litvin wrote.

Litvin asks you contact him at UKCJSC@gmail.com if you’d like to help.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!