Antisemitic messages found in Coralville neighborhood

Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 10:14 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A local Jewish leader is sending a message of resilience after antisemitic flyers appeared on the lawns of some Coralville homes.

A TV9 viewer shared the below photos, saying his wife found “a couple of these” in the yards of their neighborhood. The viewer declined to go on-camera at this time out of a concern for the safety of his family.

Antisemitic message that appeared on Coralville lawns.
Antisemitic message that appeared on Coralville lawns.(submitted to KCRG)
Antisemitic message that appeared on Coralville lawns
Antisemitic message that appeared on Coralville lawns(submitted to KCRG)

Janice Weiner, Board President of Agudas Achim Congregation in Corvalville, said police reached out to the synagogue directly Sunday morning to alert leaders of the flyers.

“When that hate is a distributed all around, somebody’s trying to send a message. And we are trying to send a counter-message, that we are going to continue to live here,” said Weiner.

She added instances like this are familiar.

“This is not a unique circumstance. It’s happened before, although not recently, in this community. This sort of thing is happening all over the country right now,” said Weiner.

Tuesday, police arrested a man accused of shooting a Jewish father and son with a BB gun on Sunday in Staten Island, New York. That’s only one recent example out of many.

According to a 2021 Anti-Defamation League (ADL) report, antisemitic incidents reached an all-time high of more than 2,700 last year.

This month, the ADL released a report saying hate speech has increased on Twitter. The report was released just hours after the account of rapper Kanye West, also known as Ye, was suspended because he posted an altered image of the star of David with a swastika inside.

Weiner said in the aftermath of the incident in Coralville, the synagogue has received “unambiguous community support.”

She added the messages were sad, but not surprising, and that it’s the response to hate that matters.

“As we enter into Hanukkah, the holiday of lights,” said Weiner, “it is a holiday of light that represents light and resilience, and the victory over bigotry and oppression and the freedom to be able to practice our religion.”

“People need to be aware that this is out there. And they need to stand up for their own values, which is what we intend to do,” she added.