U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff condemns anti-Semitic actions at Cobb County schools
The holiest of holidays on the Jewish calendar is Yom Kippur and U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff, Georgia’s first Jewish senator used that day to appear at Temple Emanu-El in Sandy Springs to deliver a powerful message about the episodes of antisemitic actions at Cobb County schools.
Over the past several days, vandals scrawled a swastika and “Heil Hitler” on bathroom doors at two separate Cobb high schools, part of an uptick in discriminatory attacks targeting Jews across the nation.
Ossoff told the crowd that he grew up with the stories of the Holocaust, known in Hebrew as the Shoah, never far from their minds. He shared with the audience that his generation of Jews were raised “with the words ‘Never Forget’ pressed into our minds.”
Ossoff went on to say, “So when at Pope High School in Marietta, Georgia, a swastika and a tribute to Adolf Hitler are scrawled on school walls … it must inflame in us the same passion for the survival of our people that burned in the hearts of the generation that emerged from the Shoah and built a future for the Jewish people here in America, around the world, and the Land of Israel.”
Cobb County schools’ response further enraged community leaders. Neither the district’s statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, nor the letter sent last week to Pope High School students, identified the antisemitism behind the act.
The school district echoed that line this week after an homage to Nazis was sprayed on a Lassiter High School bathroom wall. A statement from the Cobb school system said that a “recent disturbing social media trend involving hate speech” was distracting to teachers and students.
Lassiter principal Chris Richie did not shy away from addressing the antisemitic acts directly saying, “I do think it is important to first let parents know what occurred, to name it, and to let our students know that we condemn it.”
Ossoff also spoke about his recent visit to Israel where he met with Israeli, Palestinian, Arabs and Jews “yearning for an end to war.” He said it was a “deliberate choice” that his first Congressional delegation trip as a U.S. senator was to the Middle East.
Ossoff’s comments were just some of the remarks at area synagogues to address the rise in antisemitism in Georgia and around the nation.