Catholic Diocese investigates 2nd alleged antisemitic incident against Orange High lacrosse team

Published: May. 7, 2023 at 6:48 PM EDT
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CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - For the second time in less than a year, a Northeast Ohio Catholic school student is accused of directing antisemitic behavior towards players on the Orange High School lacrosse team.

In May of 2022 a Lake Catholic lacrosse player was seen with a swastika on his leg during a game, and now a little less than a year later an Elyria Catholic student is accused of hurling antisemitic slurs at Orange lacrosse players.

“It’s just crazy and this area is so diverse anyway at this point,” said David Kidd who lives in the area. “It’s strange that it happened twice.”

“It’s very surprising with the population and the diversity in Cleveland that this even happens especially at that age group, that generation,” said Tamara Dubin, a Jewish mother who lives nearby.

19 News learned the alleged incident happened this past Monday during a junior varsity lacrosse game.

Elyria Catholic, the Orange City School District and the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland are all investigating.

The diocese said it categorically condemns antisemitism of any kind.

“This is out of hand,” said Tamara. “Free speech is one thing, it’s another that it’s directed at other people and hate is unacceptable.”

Last May, a Lake Catholic lacrosse player showed up to a playoff game with a swastika painted on his leg.

Rachel Glazer, an Orange High School senior at the time who also happens to be Jewish, captured it on her camera.

“It didn’t feel great,” Glazer said in an interview from May of 2022. “I mean you see all these attacks with anti-Semitism in the news, but it doesn’t really feel real until you experience one yourself.”

The Catholic Diocese determined that a Lake Catholic lacrosse player attempted to play a prank on three students by drawing the symbol on his hand and then pressing it on the arms of two players and on the leg of a third.

The player with the swastika on his leg didn’t even know it was there.

The senior who put the swastika on his teammates was required to attend programming at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.

The diocese said the student involved in this recent incident will be disciplined once their investigation is complete.

“Certainly, they need to have education whether it’s through the Maltz museum or other Jewish organizations in the area that’s paramount,” said Jeffrey Dubin, a local Jewish man.

“I used to say to my kids well how would you feel if somebody said that to you and we would just have a whole conversation around experiencing other people’s cultures,” said Tamara.