Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Anti-Vaxxer Wore Yellow Star To Protest Of Measles Emergency In Rockland County

A woman wearing a yellow star was seen at a rally Thursday opposing a state of emergency to fight the spread of measles in Rockland County, New York, Lohud.com reported.

The woman was part of a small protest in the Palisades Center mall in West Nyack, New York, only a few minutes’ drive from the Hasidic Jewish communities where measles has infected over 153 people since October, most of them children.

The woman, who identified herself as Stephanie Mahairas, had a yellow star that read “No Vax” affixied to her backpack.

“This is about religion, singling out the Jews,” Mahairas, who identified as a Christian, said. “This is about the state imposing itself on a person’s bodily integrity.”

“Who’s next? The Christians who don’t want to to partake in abortion?” Mahairas added.

The yellow star, often in felt or another fabric, is a universal symbol of the Holocaust. Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe were forced to wear the star, which often read “Jude” — “Jew” in German — to identify them in ghettoes.

The yellow star has shown in the anti-vaccine community before. In 2015, one woman posted pictures of herself wearing an anti-vaccine badge that she directly linked to the yellow stars of the Holocaust.

Other groups have appropriated the star as well. In 2018, one gun store sold yellow stars that read “Gun Owner.” The conservative social media provocateur Laura Loomer once wore a yellow star to protest being banned from Twitter. In 2017, a Miu Miu dress that featured an appliqued yellow star was the subject of criticism and confusion.

Ari Feldman is a staff writer at the Forward. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @aefeldman

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.