Communities across the Bay Area have seen a spate of anti-Semitic incidents in recent months, including some allegedly perpetrated by a Sonoma County-based hate group. As one of the world’s foremost anti-hate organizations, the Anti-Defamation League or ADL is,
"Often the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur." Those are the words of Teresa Drenick.
Drenick is Deputy Regional Director with the ADL’s Central Pacific Office.
"The ultimate goal of the Anti Defamation League," Drenick said, "is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination, or hate."
Earlier this year a Holocaust memorial fountain in Santa Rosa was found toppled, in an apparently intentional act of vandalism. Meanwhile, communities in Napa, Marin and the East Bay were peppered with anti-semitic flyers distributed by a Petaluma-based hate group.
Drenick said the ADL,
"Is aware of the ugly and antisemitic propaganda flyers that have been targeting neighborhoods throughout the Bay Area. The stunt is the cowardly work of a group, espousing white supremacist themes and Holocaust denial. They're known to focus their hatred and vitriol towards the Jewish community, but also towards the LGBTQ plus community and others." Drenick pointed out that, "While the group is small and fringe, its aim is to intimidate and to sow fear."
She said for those affected, reporting the incidents is the place to start.
"We encourage anyone who's targeted by the group to report to us as well as to your local law enforcement agency." Stressed Drenick.
As for publicly identifying the group behind the flyering, Drenick said,
"When there are groups whose stunts are done with the explicit or implicit reason of garnering publicity, we don't want to feed into that." Said Drenick. "So we call out the antisemitism, we call out the shameful conduct, but we are not going to feed into the desire of a certain group to publicize itself."
An estimated 83 incidents in Northern California alone were reported to the ADL in 2021.