(LEX 18) — Rabbi Shlomo Litvin, the director of the Chabad of the Bluegrass, is back in Lexington after spending a weekend in Washington, D.C., where he spoke at a rally organized in response to the rise in antisemitism across the country.
"I focused on the idea of no fear," Rabbi Litvin told. "Hiding has never worked. Assimilation has never worked. The answer to antisemitism--the answer to hatred--has to be pride in who you are."
The event, titled "No Fear: A Rally in Solidarity with the Jewish People," was sponsored by several national groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the Alliance for Israel. It featured speakers that included victims of antisemitic acts and elected officials across the political spectrum.
"To see that excitement that we aren't going anywhere," Rabbit Litvin recalled. "That we're filled with Jewish pride and we're going to be engaged in our faith and that America on its very basic ideals is the place for us to do so was incredibly uplifting."
The rally was held amidst a rise in attacks on members of the Jewish community. Preliminary data from the Anti-Defamation League found that there was a "rise in online and real-world incidents of antisemitism in the U.S. in the wake of the recent conflict in Israel."
In 2020, the ADL tracked 2,024 incidents reported antisemitic incidents. Although that represented a slight decrease from 2019, the ADL said it represented the third-highest year on record since the organization began tracking the data in 1979.
The ADL also found that in 2020, antisemitic attacks in Kentucky were at their highest level since 1979.
"It is both the highest it's ever been and remarkably underreported," Rabbi Litvin remarked. "And it's not just Kentucky. It's across the nation."