“I’ve experienced a lot of anti-Semitism that ranges from vitriol online to near physical danger. I wear a kippah everyday which is an external signal of my Jewish identity. In California, as I [was] watching street performers doing their act I mentioned to my friend: “They’re killing it,” and a man next to me said “like you’re killing the Palestinians?” When I was touring in Poland in the city of Krakow, a man, who was visibly drunk saw my kippah, rose in ire with fists balled and shouted at me “gyd” which means Jew in Polish,” Neil Dasgupta, junior applied mathematics & statistics and philosophy double major, said.
“This summer, I went on an educational trip to Poland with a Jewish group to learn about the Holocaust. We saw a group of Polish teenagers drinking, smoking and partying in the middle of the Plaszow labor camp. We sang a song in Hebrew to remember the victims of Plaszow, and a few of the teenagers walked closer to us, pretended to conduct us and even did the chicken dance. It was heartbreaking to see such clear anti-Semitism and their lack of understanding or concern for the horrors that occurred only 75 years ago,” Samantha Novotny, senior biology major, said.
“I think that in today’s world, anti-Semitism is less societally accepted, and so it manifests itself in subtler ways, often hiding behind the idea of anti-zionism. I don’t feel the threat of anti-Semitism because I live in a really great neighborhood, but I’ve experienced anti-Semitism firsthand in Poland, while on a Jewish heritage trip,” Miki Pokryvailo, senior computer science and applied mathematics & statistics double major, said.
“I just think that it’s things like this that being Jewish people closer together, but it shouldn’t take a tragedy to bring us all together,” Ester Chikvashvili, senior biology major, said.