November 29, 2021 — In recent weeks, South Dakota Voices for Peace (SDVFP) has received reports of two anti-Semitic signs targeting Jewish members of our community in Sioux Falls.
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Two stickers were found posted near a fire station in Sioux Falls. One bared a Nazi swastika, and the other had the following words:
“JEWS LIED. GERMANS DIED. FEDERAL RESERVE = JEW. 99% of MEDIA = JEW owned. BlackRock CEO = Jew. [in bold] Pfizer CEO = Jew. Moderna CEO = Jew. J&J CEO = Jew.”
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We commend the community members who countered hate by taking action to get these images removed. Unfortunately, anti-Semitic imagery and fear-mongering signs are not new in our community. In 2019, several instances of anti-Semitism were brought to our attention: KKK flyers were found distributed in mail boxes in the Tuthill and McKennan Park neighborhoods, a swastika was burned into the parking lot of Tuthill Park, and a local high school performed “The Foreigner,” which included high school students fully cloaked in KKK robes on stage.
SDVFP organized a diverse group of concerned community members to share their stories on how they've been impacted by hate in Sioux Falls, during a Sioux Falls City Council meeting. Executive Director Taneeza Islam urged the council to pass an anti-hate resolution for the city, which was eventually unanimously passed in January 2020.
SDVFP will continue to track instances of hate in our communities and will strategize with community leaders to take action steps. Tracking incidents is the first step in understanding the gravity of hate and bigotry in our communities. In order to combat hate, we must document it with photos, videos, and words. Please reach out to Jen Dreiske, our Deputy Director, via email at email@example.com. Jen is also the president of Mt. Zion Congregation, the Reform Jewish Community of Sioux Falls.
South Dakota Voices for Peace is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist South Dakota. We have a vibrant Jewish community in Sioux Falls that needs our support in denouncing this hate. As the Jewish community begins their holy week of Hanukkah, let's assure they know they are safe in Sioux Falls and in our state.