Skip To Content
Breaking News

Jews Chant ‘We’ve Seen This Before’ as Protest Campaign Against Donald Trump Kicks Off

More than 40 Jewish Americans gathered in front of the Trump Tower in protest on Tuesday.

Brought together by the Bend the Arc social justice organization, the ralliers stood outside Trump Tower on June 21 in order to draw attention to Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric. Similar rallies took place in San Diego, Austin and other cities throughout the US.

“We Jews know the consequences of silence,” said Rabbi Rachel Timoner as the crowd picked up and echoed her words. “So when we see the early signs of fascism, we must speak.”

The protesters lit candles to commemorate Andrew Goodman, Mickey Schwerner and James Chaney, three civil rights activists who were killed on the same day in 1964. At the time of their death, they were working on promoting voter registration among African American communities in Mississippi.

“We’re here to galvanize our community and others to reject Donald Trump and do everything that we possibly can so he is never elected president of the United States,” said Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc.

Martha Ackelsberg said that Trump’s comments about profiling Latinos and Muslim people reminded her of the ways that Jews were targeted throughout Europe in the 1930s.

“The targeting of Muslims and Latinos is too reminiscent of the targeting of Jews earlier in the last century. It didn’t have a place then and it doesn’t have a place now,” she said.

Throughout the rally, Trump supporters would occasionally come up to the group and taunt them with boos and “God save Trump” cheers. The protesters later marched from Fifth Avenue to Marriott Marquis in Time Square, where they joined a group of people from all faiths speaking out against Trump.

“I think it’s important to speak out not only because our tradition tells us to, but also because we know what Donald Trump’s rhetoric leads to as Jewish people and as a minority,” said Jacob Levkowisz, who came out to the rally as a form of solidarity with the groups that Trump has targeted in his campaign.

Bend the Arc Jewish Action joined other faith groups to speak out against Trump. Image by Veronika Bondarenko

Protester Solomon Hoffman also said that it was great to see young people coming together in the street and taking a political stance outside of social media.

“Right now there is a lot on social media, people are speaking out and sharing their feelings, which is great, but I think there’s also an importance of physical presence and coming together in the same space,” said Hoffman.

Contact Veronika Bondarenko at [email protected] or on Twitter, @veronikabond.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

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.