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MOTA joins organizations across Alaska in fight against antisemitism

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Chrissy Roes
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KUCB
"We're trying to say to the world that this isn't right," Hatfield said. “That we're about cultural diversity, about supporting each other, about education. And so we hope to be leaders in that — in educating people and standing for what's right.”

The Museum of the Aleutians joined over forty organizations from across the state last week to show support for the Alaska Jewish Museum.

Recently, the Anchorage-based museum suffered attacks of antisemitic vandalism. In light of that violence, Museums Alaska — a statewide networking and advocacy group — reached out to other Alaska museums, cultural centers and historical societies asking them to sign a letter of support for the Alaska Jewish Museum and for Jewish history, art and culture.

MOTA Director Ginny Hatfield said the hatred behind these acts is appalling. By joining Museums Alaska and the Alaska Jewish Museum, she hopes MOTA can be an example for others.

We're trying to say to the world that this isn't right,” Hatfield said. “That we're about cultural diversity, about supporting each other, about education. And so we hope to be leaders in that — in educating people and standing for what's right.”

She said it’s important to be aware that violent acts like this are happening all across the state.

I don't think [Unalaska is] seeing the levels of anger, violence and vandalism that other parts of the country and other parts of Alaska are seeing,” Hatfield said. “So it’s important that our community supports this diversity of cultures.”

In the statement, Museums Alaska encouraged communities to recognize the importance of diversity and education.

“Education is one of the most important tools we can use to end hate crimes,” the statement said. “Alaska’s museums are institutions of lifelong learning and we are well-positioned to share information about the diverse communities that contribute to the cultural and social richness of our state.”

Hatfield said she hopes MOTA can help in that effort.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations in Anchorage launched a campaign this month to help spread awareness of hate crimes. They encourage anyone who thinks they have information about or believes they are a victim of a hate crime to contact the FBI by phone at 1-800-CALL-FBI or online at tips.fbi.gov.

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