Twice this year, the curator of the Alaska Jewish Museum (AJM) has arrived at work to find swastika stickers on the doors or the museum. Following the second attack, Museums Alaska worked with museums across the state to show the AJM that they are not alone.

Museums, historical societies, cultural centers, and related organizations across the state have signed a statement of solidarity. We will not ignore this spiteful act and we will work together to educate Alaskans about the diverse communities that have shaped Alaska.

Museums Alaska also asks that attention be brought to the poster the Alaska Jewish Museum released to aid in the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator of the attack. The Alaska Jewish Museum and StandWithUs Northwest have partnered to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction in the vandalism investigation. Those with information should call 3-1-1.

“There are over 100 museums in the state of Alaska founded and managed by people who have a passion for sharing the history and many different cultures of Alaska with residents and visitors,” states Museums Alaska Director Dixie Clough. “Alaskan museums are appalled by the attacks, and they are eager to show support for the Alaska Jewish Museum and the Alaska Jewish Campus as they seek to address these crimes and ensure the safety of their facilities and community.”

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During a state-wide Zoom call to discuss the attacks, the museum community shared words of support for Leslie Fried, the Alaska Jewish Museum’s curator, and pledged to support the Alaska Jewish Museum with the attached statement of solidarity.

“There has been an increase in antisemitic behavior in Anchorage over the past few months, and we saw a role for museums as community educators to stand up against these hateful acts,” says Clough. “We want to ensure that the museum attacker is brought to justice, and that the Alaska Jewish community knows that they are not alone. They have support across the state.”

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Alaskan Museums Stand with the Alaska Jewish Museum

Museums Alaska and the Alaska museum community stand in support of the Alaska Jewish Museum and its mission to provide a home for Jewish history, art, and culture in Alaska. 

We are deeply disturbed by the recent attacks of antisemitic vandalism that the Alaska Jewish Museum has experienced in Anchorage. Curator Leslie Fried has twice found swastika stickers stuck to the museum doors and windows and in the second incident, a swastika was gouged through a sticker into a door. 

Museums Alaska, Alaskan museums, and museum staff members across the state stand in solidarity with Curator Leslie Fried, the Alaska Jewish Museum, and the Alaska Jewish Campus—offering support as the museum seeks to address these crimes and ensure the safety of its facilities and community.

This vandalism is an attack on all of us and the inclusive Alaska history our institutions were founded to tell. History reveals that malicious acts increase during uncertain times, and they flourish when encouraged or ignored by people in leadership positions. We will not ignore this spiteful act and we will work with the Alaska Jewish Museum to combat bigotry and prejudice in all its forms.

Education is one of the most important tools we can use to end hate crimes. 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.

Museums across Alaska encourage our communities to recognize that diversity is a strength and to learn about the vibrant cultures and resourceful individuals that have shaped Alaska. And we will continue to strive to reach community members we don’t know with our programming because it is those individuals and groups who may benefit the most from respectful dialogue about Alaska’s history and peoples. 

Together we stand steadfast in our support of the Alaska Jewish Museum and affirm our intent to combat acts of hate against our museum community. 

Museums Alaska

Alaska Aviation Museum

Alaska Botanical Garden

Alaska Emerging Museum Professionals Chapter 

Alaska Humanities Forum

Alaska Jewish Museum

Alaska State Museums: Alaska State Museum, Juneau & Sheldon Jackson Museum

Alaska Veterans Museum 

Alpine Historical Society

Alutiiq Museum

American Bald Eagle Foundation

Anchorage Museum

Aunt Claudia’s Dolls, a Museum 

Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum

CATPAW

Chickaloon Village Traditional Council

Chilkat Valley Historical Society

Clausen Memorial Museum

Cordova Historical Museum

ExhibitAK

Fairbanks Children's Museum

Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum 

Haines Sheldon Museum

Homer Council on the Arts

Hope and Sunrise Historical and Mining Museum

Juneau-Douglas City Museum

Kawerak Katirvik Cultural Center

Ketchikan Museums

Kodiak History Museum

Little Lithuanian Museum & Library

Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry 

Museum of the Aleutians

Palmer Museum of History and Art

Pratt Museum & Park

Preservation Alaska

Resurrection Bay Historical Society

Sealaska Heritage Institute

Talkeetna Historical Society and Museum

Thole Exhibits And Mounts (TEAM)

University of Alaska Museum of the North

Valdez Museum and Historical Archive

 

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