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New Jersey residents hold rally against antisemitism ahead of planned student walkout in support of Palestinians

N.J. residents rally against antisemitism ahead of pro-Palestinian walkout
N.J. residents rally against antisemitism ahead of pro-Palestinian walkout 01:56

TEANECK, N.J. -- A Jewish organization in New Jersey held a rally denouncing antisemitism Tuesday, a day before a planned student walkout at Teaneck High School in support of Palestinians.

Hundreds of Jewish people and their allies gathered near the Teaneck Municipal Building Tuesday night.

"If somebody wants to spread that hateful speech, that has no place in our public schools," said Rabbi Daniel Friedman, with the Jewish Center of Teaneck.

Friedman was referring to a flyer promoting a "Teaneck High School walk out for Palestine." The flyer reads in part, "Do not stay silent during a genocide."

Before Wednesday's rally, attendees at Tuesday night's counter-rally say they are speaking out against hate and antisemitism in Teaneck Public Schools.

"I should be able to express my Jewish identity and my Zionism freely," one student said.

Jewish high school students at Tuesday night's rally say they feel unsafe walking the halls, and parents are hesitant to send their children to school due to the ongoing tension since the Oct. 7 attack on Israelis.

"I'm feeling a lot of anxiety as a parent," one parent said.

Students in support of Palestinians plan to walk out of school at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and rally on the football field, all before marching to City Hall. Student organizers say they are not antisemitic.

"Our goal is just to, like, spread awareness and show Teaneck's students' support," Teaneck High School student Amar Halak said.

"Our goal was never ever to make anybody feel unsafe, but I think that to immediately assume that we're going to be spreading antisemitism, you know, we haven't even had our walkout yet," Teaneck High School student Maryam Marey said.

There is growing concern surrounding the safety for students, faculty and the community during Wednesday's rally.

We reached out to Teaneck Police and the school district to find out if there's a plan in place. So far, we haven't heard back.

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