INDIANAPOLIS — A new billboard went up in Fountain Square taking a stand against antisemitism.
“This wasn’t an issue five, ten, twenty years ago the way that it is today,” said CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis Marc Swatez.
The billboard that states, “Indy is no place for Jew hate” went up Friday in a joint effort from the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council.
“This a way to say, ‘Hey, let’s stand up and realize the hate that is going on in the world and Indy is no place for this kind of hate,” said Executive Director of Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council Jacob Markey.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, there has been an increase in antisemitic crime in Indianapolis over the last three years.
In 2020, a total of four antisemitic crimes were reported. In 2021, a total of seven. Last year, 17 hate crimes were committed against the Jewish community.
“Having Jew hate become normalized again is the last thing we want. So, we are doing what we can do to make sure it just doesn’t happen again,” said Swatez.
Swatez says 50 percent of Jews in Indianapolis have reported experiencing a hate crime in the last several years.
“The ADL is reporting this year has been the highest number of antisemitic acts in the last 40 years,” said Swatez.
Advocates hope this billboard will help educate and prompt open discussion in the community.
”Because we are such a small minority in this country, we can’t attack this issue ourselves. We need others to know about it, react to it, and to stand with us,” said Swatez.
If you would like to learn more you can visit the link at the bottom of the billboard here.
”When you are an ally together that makes us all stronger and able to educate. It is more than calling out people,” said Markey.