Breaking News
  • May 20Congratulations Class of 2024
  • May 20BGHS Men's Lacrosse Wins State
  • May 6Prom King and Queen: Bernice Moshos and Alex Perez
  • April 15Mr. Tracy Goode named Principal for the 2024-2025 school year
The Student News Site of Bishop Gorman High School

The Lance

The Lance

The Lance

Antisemitism Awareness Talk Presented to the Class of 2026

Lilach Levaton educates World History classes on the dangers of hatred.
Mrs. Keating
Lilach Levaton presenting to second period World History classes.

On March 20th and 21st, Mrs. Lilach Levaton came to Bishop Gorman to educate the sophomore world history periods on antisemitism, its causes, its dangers, and why it can not be normalized. 

From the presentation, antisemitism, as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, is “a certain perception on Jews which may be expressed as intended hatred.” 

Levaton, who was born in Israel, has called the United States her home for the past eighteen years. She is a member of the Israeli American Council of Las Vegas, which was founded in the United States twelve years ago, and brought to Las Vegas ten years ago. 

She grew up in a small town in Israel, where most of the residents were Holocaust survivors   or families of those survivors , her dad being one himself. In her town, humor was often used to deflect what everyone struggled through. Due to her background and heritage, she is strongly against the normalization of antisemitism and hate toward any community. 

Levaton supports the two state solution and is a zionist. A zionist is someone who supports the right of the Jewish people to self determination in the land of Israel. That does not mean she supports the hatred towards other religious or ethnic groups. 

Bringing up the two state solution resonated with some students. Stephanie Nasiak ‘26 said, “Something that stuck out to me the most from the topic was bringing up the two state solution. I have heard about many people’s different ideas on how they wanted the war going on right now to end, but not this one specifically. In fact, I researched the solution when I got home.” 

As a Jewish person, Levaton said that she will always be associated with Israel, even if she was not born there. That is why the attack on Israel is also an attack on Jewish people and culture. “As a Jew, Israel is part of you,” Levaton explained. That is why she cares so much about the conflict in the Middle East. It is not only an attack on her home, but an attack on her people. “Hatred towards Israel is hatred towards you.” 

According to Levaton, a majority of antisemitism is hate speech and stereotyping, but that does not mean that violent actions are not imposed on the Jewish community. From her presentation, hate crimes against Jewish people went up 337% from October 7th, 2023 to January 7th 2024, with only 75% of cases being reported. In just three months, the number of antisemitic hate crimes were almost the same as those of 2022. 

She also presented that over half of hate crimes in the United States are towards the Jewish community, though they gain less traction in the media. These numbers are even more shocking when thinking about the fact that Jewish people only make up 2% of the United States population. As far as the world population goes, the Jewish population has not hit 16 million since1939. 

Other statistics that were presented came from the UN. Last year, Israel had 57 condemnation of human rights, while Isis had one, Iran had four, and Al Qaeda had none. 

Levaton also presented on the “Intifada”. This word is used to describe times in Israel of strong Palestinian protests against their people,and she used it to describe the terrorists who came to Israel and set off bombs. These people would strap bombs to themselves and go to places like bus stops or restaurants and set them off. Levaton shared that her husband’s cousin died in one of these attacks. 

Much of antisemitism stems from the Three Ds: demonization, delegitimization, and double standards. Demonization is calling Jewish people evil, or dehumanizing them in the process. Throughout history, Jews have been blamed for many things that were not their fault, such as the Black Plague and the German’s loss of World War I. Delegitimization is happening to their country and culture, because around the world, people are questioning Israel’s right to exist as a country. Double standards are evident in the previously stated statistics from the UN. 

Levaton also showed antisemitic hate crimes that are happening in the United States. In one school, a nonverbal, Jewish boy had a swastika carved into his body by his schoolmates in a bathroom. Unfortunately, since he is nonverbal and there are no cameras in the bathroom, the perpetrators have not been caught. 

In a Texas school, the Butterfly Project, which is for the remembrance of the 1.5 million children killed in the Holocaust, was done by a class. On some of the butterflies, there were antisemitic symbols and drawings. However, due to the normalization of antisemitism and nazi symbols in the media, the teacher running this project didn’t even think that this artwork was wrong to display. 

In the Las Vegas Valley, hate speech against the Jewish people has been displayed. Antisemitic graffiti was found in a neighborhood on Fort Apache, in multiple spots on the UNLV campus, and in many hallways in CCSD schools. According to Levaton, to combat this hatred in the community, “we need to stand together.” 

The normalization of antisemitism has gotten dangerous. From her presentation, Levaton explained that some people in the United States think that the Holocaust never happened. Normalization can be spread through things as harmless as jokes. Levaton expressed, “by normalizing it, you empower the ideology behind it.” 

From the presentation, it was shown not many people realize that if they allow for antisemitism, they are allowing for hatred of all kinds. Levaton said, “people that hate one minority will hate other minorities. You need to remember that. Hate is hate.” Much of this hatred, in Levaton’s opinion, comes from the fact that the Jewish people never played victim. They always did the victim and they always tried to build back stronger than they were before, and that might scare some people. 

Overall, the presentation was very enlightening and opened the eyes of many students to what is going on in not only the world, but what happens in their own community everyday without them even realizing it.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Lance Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *