Local fraternity finds anti-Semitic graffiti near home

LAS VEGAS - A wave of anti-Semitic crimes has washed across the country, and the Las Vegas valley is the latest to be hit.

UNLV students have decided to lead a movement after finding anti-semitic graffiti Monday not far from campus.  That same day a Jewish community center received a bomb threat.

The graffiti was found near Maryland Parkway and Flamingo Road.  A lot of UNLV students live in that particular neighborhood.

The anti-semitic graffiti was found on a utility box, which has since been repainted.  The vandalized box where someone drew swastikas and wrote a threatening message is less than two miles from the home of one of the Jewish fraternities on campus.

"One of my fraternity brothers ended up finding this (referencing the box where the anti-Semitic message was written), took pictures, and sent it to the group," said Gil Hayon, president of Alpha Epsilon Pi. "Obviously we reacted and put it out on social media to try to raise awareness."

After posting the picture on social media, the fraternity was inundated with messages of support.

"It was definitely heartwarming to see how many organizations and how many people really support us and they're here," Hayon said.  "They let us know that they're standing with us against hatred."

Hayon is working with his fraternity brother, Derrick Lanham, to put together a rally next Monday.

"We wanted to put the rally together mostly to raise awareness of all of the intolerance going on," Lanham said.  "We're not the only minority group that's receiving prejudices in the United States."

The plans for the event comes the day after the Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada was also a target.  It received a bomb threat, which prompted them to evacuate their building.
   
"There's always going to be some form of anti-Semitism," Hayon said.

The FBI is investigating similar threats nationwide.

8 News NOW spoke recently to the newly elected congresswoman and past president of her Henderson synagogue, Jacky Rosen, D-NV, and she said the recent hate crimes against the Jewish community had been concerning.

"I don't want people to feel that they can't be part of our communities because of where they pray, because of how they look or because of the language they speak," Rosen said.

Alpha Epsilon Pi said it filed a police report about the graffiti.  The fraternity said it also asked its national office for help securing the fraternity house, especially after all of the attention on social media.

On Wednesday, Jewish leaders plan to meet with local and federal law enforcement agencies to discuss the recent incidents in Las Vegas.

 

 


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