Rhode Island Coalition for Israel holds rally against anti-Semitism outside of Brown RISD Hillel

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The Rhode Island Coalition for Israel held a rally outside Brown University in response to an anti-Semitic note left in the campus’ center for Jewish life.

The anti-Semitic note was found in the reception area of the Brown RISD Hillel in October.

The woman accused of leaving the note, Tanyalee Lugo, was arrested on disorderly conduct charges by Providence police in November.

Due to the threatening and offensive nature of the note, members of the Rhode Island Coalition for Israel believe this case should be treated as a hate crime.

“If she’s not charged with a hate crime, It almost gives other people permission to do horrible things like this,” said coalition member Ken Schneider.  

Through their rallying, the coalition hopes to put pressure on Attorney General Peter Neronha to up the charge to a hate crime, saying this will help set a precedent for carrying out anti-Semitic crime.

Judi Dill, another member of the coalition, believes that if people who commit acts of hatred like this were properly punished, Jewish people wouldn’t have to face the rise in anti-Semitism that they’re currently experiencing.

Brooke Cohen, a freshman at Brown, believes there is a larger conversation to be had about anti-Semitism on campus.

Cohen saw the note left in the Hillel as an intrusion of Jewish students’ safe space.

She continued to say that although much of the Jewish community at Brown knows of the spike in anti-Semitism, she does not think the general student population is as aware.

Ultimately, coalition members believe it is up to leadership in the Jewish community as well as the Attorney General to respond accordingly.

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