SWC Midwest Office Director Speaks Out Against Current Spate of Anti-Semitism

March 8, 2017

Last week, Alison Pure-Slovin, SWC Midwest Director, received information from Rick Eaton, SWC Senior Researcher, and Aron Hier, SWC Director of Campus Outreach, that a student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, was going to be organizing a rally after a swastika was discovered on a power box on their campus. On Monday morning, Alison quickly boarded a flight to Las Vegas to be the key speaker at their rally, where they “marched against Anti-Semitism”, from the steps of the Jewish Federation building to the center of the UNLV campus.

In her speech, Pure-Slovin stated, “Let’s walk away from this rally with the conviction that we will improve the world one person, one friendship, one community at a time.” Over 180 supporters came to protest the rising wave of anti-Semitism on their campus, and were empowered by their unity. The Simon Wiesenthal Center strongly supports students on campus with educational programming and speakers to help them understand their 1st amendment rights and encourage them to stand up against incitement from any group.

On Tuesday morning, in Chicago, there was a bomb threat at a north-side Jewish Day School, where more than 200 children were forced to evacuate. The Simon Wiesenthal Center Midwest Regional Office immediately released a statement, reading in part, “These threats are targeting innocent children, who have a right to attend school without fear. Although we are grateful, thus far, there has been no actual bomb, we need to end this behavior before it causes severe harm.”

In response to the statement, Ms. Pure-Slovin was interviewed on CBS Radio WBBM, Fox Channel 32, and NBC Channel 5, on her response to such a clear instance of terrorism to the Jewish community in Chicago. "Through these interviews, we hope that citizens of Chicago understand that when one of our ethnic groups are targeted, we are all being attacked, stated Pure-Slovin. Watch related NBC News Interview

On Wednesday morning, Ms. Pure-Slovin addressed the City of Chicago Board of Commissioners as they voted on a resolution against hate towards the Jewish and Muslim Communities. "This is a very important mission of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, to not just advocate on behalf of our own Jewish interests, but to build bridges with other faiths and ethnic groups, to more effectively pool our support for one another," Pure-Slovin stated in her remarks to the Chicago Board, on their resolution vote, that, “Although, this resolution is a very important first step, it isn't enough for us to condemn acts of hate, rather, we must work together to eliminate hate as a norm.”

"We were heartened to see so many members of the Chicago broader community there, in the room, to show support for the Jewish and Muslim communities. We hope that this resolution and condemnation sends a clear message throughout Chicago, and Illinois, that terror threats will not be tolerated and cannot tear us apart," concluded Pure-Slovin.

For more information, please contact the Center's Midwest office, 312.981.0105, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).