NY commuter who led cleanup of anti-Semitic subway graffiti to receive ADL award

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — The New York commuter who led several others on a Manhattan subway to clean away anti-Semitic graffiti with hand sanitizer is being honored by the Anti-Defamation League.

Jared Nied, 37, will receive ADL’s Stand Up New Yorker Award, which recognizes city residents for taking immediate action to help those being singled out for bigotry, or initiating efforts to denounce hate. Evan Bernstein, director of the ADL New York region, will present Nied with the award on Wednesday.

Nied’s actions went viral after one of the commuters described the scene from the night of Feb. 4 on Facebook.

“The train was silent as everyone stared at each other, uncomfortable and unsure what to do,” Gregory Locke wrote in his post. “One guy got up and said, ‘Hand sanitizer gets rid of Sharpie. We need alcohol.’ He found some tissues and got to work.”

Nied, who works as a sous chef in New York, also posted about the incident on Facebook that night.

“Sitting across from this … stay classy, New York,” read the post, which included a photo of some of the graffiti. It read “Destroy Israel Heil Hitler” and included a swastika.

The post continued: “VERY IMPORTANT EDIT – hand sanitizer and tissues will totally erase sharpie graffiti. Share and spread the word!”

The following day Nied posted: “Bewildered, confused and pleasantly shocked doesn’t even begin to describe this … never in a million years did I think anybody would record my moment, let alone that it would explode like this. I’m honestly not sure what to say other than that I was just doing the right thing, the thing that needed to be done.”

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