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Antisemitism In Oregon by Jack Kerfoot
Recently, I had the opportunity to have coffee with a rabbi of a small but active synagogue in Portland. The rabbi was kind enough to take time from his schedule to educate me on the synagogue's efforts in the greater Portland area.
Although the rabbi is concerned about Portland's homeless crisis, he is equally concerned about the growing number of neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups in the region. He vividly recalls as a child his synagogue in Portland being desecrated with painted swastikas and anti-semantic hate messages.
The rabbi explained that in the 1980s, Oregon had a strong core of neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups. White supremacist groups have been on the rise across the United States and specifically in Oregon over the past few years. Jewish and Muslim leaders in Portland are collaborating to protect their congregations from potential hate crimes.
Anti-Fascist (Antifa) groups have recently gained the headlines for their attacks on people during the marches of extremist groups, like Patriot Prayer and Proud Boys. Although I don't condone street violence, I abhor any and all white supremacist, neo-Nazi or extremist group. I give my personal pledge to work with law enforcement, clerics and all residents to ensure we stop the hate, now and forever in our city.
This article was reprinted with permission from Jack Kerfoot. Jack is a candidate for Portland Commissioner.
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