Unity Days talk on the Jewish community before and after August 2017

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A presentation on the history of the Jewish community in Charlottesville before and after August 2017 was put on Monday as part of the many Unity Days events.

Phyllis Leffler, a professor at the University of Virginia, said her point of view from the Jewish community is only a piece of a larger story.

"Jews in the region and nationally have been both insiders and outsiders to the culture of America,” said Leffler. “I hope people will come to understand that white supremacy really targets us all, but that the Jewish story, I hope, is a case in point for people to understand how this evolves and how this comes to be."

She said white supremacy comes in many forms.

"White supremacy is a very, very large umbrella and under that umbrella, there are many, many different groups that are affected," said Leffler.

Leffler said the Jewish community has been working hard to move forward since the Unite the Right rally in August 2017, but incidents around the nation have caused them to take precaution.

"I think the Jewish community is guarded, feels vulnerable, but also is carrying on with our daily lives,” said Leffler. “I think we do feel that Charlottesville is ultimately home and is a comfortable place to be."

Leffler said she hopes that Unity Days bring together all the pieces of the story to help people understand how white supremacy affects everyone.

"The response of the local community to the hatred and ugliness has been very very encouraging,” said Leffler. “And I like to tell this story because I know people want to learn and I know people want to be sensitized to the larger issues of white supremacy and white nationalism in this country."

Unity Days are a series of events happening through August. Check the Related Links box for the calendar of events.

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