Local initiative looks to combat Rhode Island anti-Semitism on week of Hanukkah

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — To combat rising cases of anti-Semitism in Rhode Island, advocates for the Jewish community are urging allies to decorate menorahs and place them in their window this holiday season.

The initiative is known as Shine a Light on anti-Semitism.

Studio Hop on Hope Street is one of many stores that have portrayed the paper menorah.

“There are so many Jewish families,” said Nina Tegu, owner of Studio Hop. “It’s important for us to just show our support, to let them know we are here.”

Organizations like the Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center and the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island have promoted the initiative that began Sunday.
Wendy Joering, executive director of the Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center, addressed recent spikes in antisemitism.
“We don’t want to shove it under the rug,” said Joering. “It’s happening, it’s real, we can’t ignore it. But we don’t want to give it any more light than it needs.”
The Anti-Defamation League reported a 34% uptick in anti-Semitic incidents across the country. This is the highest since 1979.
Adam Greenman, president of the Jewish Alliance of Rhode Island, echoed a similar message to Joering.
“We can cover the fact that these acts happen without covering the acts themselves,” he explained. “It gives a permission structure for everyday people — it says, ‘So and so does that, so I can go and do it, too.'”
Eli Tegu, a sales associate at Studio Hop, urged other Rhode Islanders and companies to stand with the Jewish community — especially the week of Hanukkah.
He finished, “It’s not just for Jewish communities to put up, it’s for all of us to be together on. Let’s step up and show the more together we are, the stronger we’ll be.”
More information on the Shine a Light on Antisemitism initiative can be found at jewishallianceri.org.
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