Lexington, state leaders respond to anti-Semitic attack

LEXINGTON , Ky. (WTVQ) – On the penultimate night of Chanukah Wednesday, city and state leaders spoke out at the University of Kentucky’s Jewish Center, Chabad of the Bluegrass, after an anti-Semitic attack there during the weekend.

“Those who are silent are endorsing the words of hate and encouraging acts of violence,” said Aaron Rothke, president of Jewish Advocacy of Kentucky.

The event comes after police say a man shouted anti-Semitic remarks, then dragged another man with a car, sending him to the hospital. The attack was Saturday, the third day of Chanukah, just before the menorah was lit.

“Over the last year when racist and anti-Semitic flyers were distributed in the area, some voices spoke out, unfortunately the silence was louder than the words,” Rothke said.

Rabbi Schlomo Litvin echoed that message.

“We need to stand up wherever we see it because when small things are ignored, we sadly have to come together for larger problems,” Schlomo said.

Richard Blevins is a Christian student on UK’s campus. He says no matter your religion, it’s important to call out hate.

“I was quite filled with sorrow when it did happen,” Blevins said. “That even in this time that were in, we’re still facing anti-Semitism.”

Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers made a statement, saying it’s on everyone to play a role.

“We have to support diversity,” Weathers said. “We have to love each other.”

State Senator Reggie Thomas was one of a few state leaders at the event, calling the attack an act of terror.

“I intend to stay locked in arms with my Jewish brothers and sisters, for they are indeed part of my family,” Thomas said.

Congressman Andy Barr couldn’t make it, but sent a representative on his behalf.

“It is my hope that you can continue to celebrate this holiday knowing you are wrapped in the warmth and love of our larger community,” Barr’s representative said.

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