Residents in Utah urged to examine their sensitivity to antisemitism

Jan 17, 2022, 5:54 PM | Updated: 6:24 pm

Utah antisemitism...

Rabbi Benny Zippel, left, and Rabbi Avremi Zippel take part in a menorah lighting ceremony during halftime of a Jazz-Portland Trail Blazers game at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, as Chabad Lubavitch of Utah hosts the fifth Jewish Heritage Night with the Jazz. Photo credit: Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Members of Utah’s Jewish community are speaking out after a man took four people hostage in a Texas synagogue this weekend. And they ask others in Utah to look within themselves to determine whether they’ve become “used to” antisemitism.

The hours-long standoff in Colleyville, Texas ended Saturday night when troopers stormed the building. And fatally shot Malik Faisal Akram, 44, a British national.

‘What, again?’

Rabbi Avremi Zippel, with Chabad of Utah, said his first thought when he heard the news was, ‘again?’ Zippel said while this incident happened in Texas, antisemitism is a problem nationally. That includes Utah, he said, and people need to understand how common attacks like this are.

“I’d encourage people in the local community to wake up to the fact that the Jewish people are not ‘others,’ we’re not some faceless cabal that exists in some corner of the world. Unseen and unknowable. We are your neighbors, we’re the people that you work with.”

Zippel says after the 2018 synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, some synagogues in Utah increased their security and have had active shooter training. That includes Congregation Kol Ami, Utah’s largest Jewish synagogue.

‘This is happening again’

When Ron Zamir heard the news, he said his first thought was that ‘this is happening again.’ As a member of the United Jewish Federation of Utah, he knows that antisemitism exists. And he believes that other people might have become desensitized to it.

“Is it easier for someone in our school,” Zamir said, “somebody in a place of business, somebody in a religious congregation to stay silent when they are in a group setting where somebody talks about, you know, ‘the Jewish control,’ or ‘how good Jews are with money.'”

Zamir encourages Utahns to ask themselves if they hear antisemitic remarks made by friends or family. And, if so, if they are willing to call attention to them.

The United Jewish Federal of Utah has created an antisemitism task force where people can learn more.

Related reading:


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

Rep. Tyler Clancy, R-Provo, speaks about HB261 at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 19,...

Aimee Cobabe

Lawmaker wants to increase maximum amount of time for involuntary civil commitments

Utah lawmakers are supporting a bill to increase the maximum amount of time for involuntary civil commitments.

7 hours ago

Eastyn K. Tueller, 19, is accused of going nearly 100 mph when her vehicle smashed into another veh...

Pat Reavy, KSL.COM

Intoxicated woman in fatal ’22 crash was going 98 mph in 35 mph zone, charges say

A West Valley woman accused of traveling nearly 100 mph in a 35 mph zone while driving impaired has been charged with causing a fatal crash in 2022.

7 hours ago

Shane Romano and Sami Sowers take a rest in the shade at Sunnyside Park in Salt Lake City, Tuesday,...

Mark Jackson

SLC Council considering proposal to lease section of neighborhood park to University of Utah

SLC Council is considering a proposal to lease a little over an acre of Sunnyside Park to the University of Utah for a new baseball stadium.

8 hours ago

Sandy Police Sgt. Clay Swensen, the department's public information officer, talks with member of t...

Devin Oldroyd

Sandy Police looking for missing endangered 35-year-old

The Sandy Police Department is asking the public for help locating missing and endangered 35-year-old David Galloway.

9 hours ago

crime Ballpark...

Curt Gresseth

Cop talks knocking down violent crime in Ballpark Neighborhood

Violent crime in the Ballpark Neighborhood of Salt Lake City is down. A deputy chief details how the SLCPD achieved the results.

9 hours ago

"tree work here" sign pictured on a rose park streed...

Eric Cabrera

Rose Park street losing half its trees, upsetting some residents

Residents of a Rose Park apartment complex are upset. Twenty trees on their street are set to be cut down this week.

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Residents in Utah urged to examine their sensitivity to antisemitism