Despite fears, ‘Day of Hate’ passes without incident

Synagogues ramped up security and warned congregants after social media chatter suggested Jews might be targeted.


A Star of David on a synagogue gate. (Jose Luis Raota)

By Adam Kovac, The Forward

Day of Hate

In recent days, conversations on white supremacist channels on social media apps like Telegram had included suggestions that members distribute antisemitic flyers and stickers and erect hateful graffiti on Saturday, Feb. 25. Channel organizers said participants should obey local laws and stick to handing out flyers and stickers. 

But even non-violent incidents did not appear to have materialized by Saturday afternoon. 

The first idea of a “Day of Hate” first gained steam on Telegram just a day after neo-Nazis accosted people in line for a Broadway revival of the musical Parade, which focuses on the lynching of a Jewish man in Georgia, on Tuesday night. On Thursday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams denounced white supremacy and expressed his support for the Jewish community at a performance of the show. 

That same day, the Anti-Defamation League issued a warning, saying they had been monitoring white supremacist online spaces, and had picked up on chatter calling on members to unfurl antisemitic banners and distribute other materials. Several police departments, including the NYPD, announced before Saturday that they would ramp up patrols in sensitive areas, like those near houses of worship, out of an abundance of caution. 

An ADL spokesperson did not provide a comment on Saturday. 

Other Jewish organizations, including the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, said they had been in contact with local law enforcement and asked community members to report unusual activity. 

Many synagogues and Jewish organizations shared messages  aimed at combating white supremacist ideology and emphaszing  communal strength and peace. A Manhattan synagogue, Temple Emanu-El, held an outside Day of Resolve Shabbat service. Agudath Israel of Illinois advised vigilance but said that while no specific threat was made, “We must seek the proper balance between conducting our lives as usual while taking the proper precautions at the same time.”

But many synagogues also told congregants they would take extra security precautions, and at least one canceled services.

This article was originally published on the Forward.