RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Dozens of members of the Raleigh Jewish community gathered in Moore Square on Monday evening for a show of solidarity against antisemitism.
Since the escalation of conflict between Israel and Hamas, the organization governing the Palestinian people in the Gaza strip, antisemitism has been on the rise globally. According to the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic incidents in the U.S. more than doubled in May 2021 compared to May 2020, with 251 total incidents.
In response, rabbis from three local Jewish communities--Chabad Young Professionals Raleigh, Chabad Center of Raleigh, and Chabad of Cary came together to stand against antisemitism and show support for Israel.
The event, called an Evening of Unity, Solidarity and Prayer, featured speeches, songs and prayer, as well as an interactive mural by local Jewish artist Yitzchock Moully. On the mural, attendees were invited to inscribe their "mitzvahs," or pledges to do good deeds.
In the center of the mural--a statement in Hebrew, "Am Yisrael Chai." Organizer Rabbi Zalmy Dubinsky of Chabad Young Professionals Raleigh explained the statement means that the Jewish people are eternal.
"There's a lot of Wikipedia pages of people throughout history and nations throughout history that have tried to destroy the Jewish people, and they're nothing but footnotes in history," Dubinsky said. "But here, 'am Yisrael chai,' we're alive, we're well and we're proud, and we will stay that way."
Moully also helped participants make t-shirts featuring the statement.