Alaska museums express solidarity with Jewish museum after antisemitic attacks

Museums in Alaska expressed solidarity with the Alaska Jewish Museum after swastikas were placed on it twice in one year.

An aerial view of Anchorage, Alaska.  (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
An aerial view of Anchorage, Alaska.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Museums in Alaska expressed solidarity with the Alaska Jewish Museum (AJM) last week after two antisemitic attacks targeted it this year, according to the Anchorage Press.

The two attacks involved swastika stickers being placed on the Jewish museum, once in May and once in September. The gay nightclub Mad Myrna's was also vandalized with swastikas in May.

The AJM and StandWithUs Northwest have partnered to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator of the vandalism. Anyone with information is encouraged to call 3-1-1.

“There has been an increase in antisemitic behavior in Anchorage over the past few months, and we saw a role for museums as community educators to stand up against these hateful acts,” said Museums Alaska Director Dixie Clough to the Anchorage Press. “We want to ensure that the museum attacker is brought to justice, and that the Alaska Jewish community knows that they are not alone. They have support across the state.”

Museums, historical societies, cultural centers, and related organizations signed a statement of solidarity, saying "Museums Alaska and the Alaska museum community stand in support of the Alaska Jewish Museum and its mission to provide a home for Jewish history, art, and culture in Alaska."

Swastika on a wall (illustrative) (credit: INGIMAGE)Swastika on a wall (illustrative) (credit: INGIMAGE)

"We are deeply disturbed by the recent attacks of antisemitic vandalism that the Alaska Jewish Museum has experienced in Anchorage," added the museums. "Museums Alaska, Alaskan museums, and museum staff members across the state stand in solidarity with Curator Leslie Fried, the Alaska Jewish Museum, and the Alaska Jewish Campus — Offering support as the museum seeks to address these crimes and ensure the safety of its facilities and community."

"This vandalism is an attack on all of us and the inclusive Alaska history our institutions were founded to tell. History reveals that malicious acts increase during uncertain times, and they flourish when encouraged or ignored by people in leadership positions," said the museums. "We will not ignore this spiteful act and we will work with the Alaska Jewish Museum to combat bigotry and prejudice in all its forms."

The museums stressed that education is one of the most important tools in combatting hate crimes and encouraged Alaskan communities to "recognize that diversity is a strength and to learn about the vibrant cultures and resourceful individuals that have shaped Alaska."