Nick Perin’s Highland Park neighborhood near Talmud Torah’s Newman School is close-knit — so much so that neighbors have set up a text chain to update each other on what’s going on.
So, when Perin received a text early Monday from a neighbor who’d discovered an antisemitic flier behind his garage, he set out to find more before the schoolyard was full of children so “nobody else had to find them,” he said.
“We probably got a good portion of them before anyone noticed them,” Perin said of at least 15 fliers he collected. Other neighbors also found some near their homes, although officials had no hard numbers.
On Wednesday, St. Paul police confirmed they have assigned an investigator to the case. Talmud Torah is a Jewish school founded 66 years ago in a neighborhood long considered the center of St. Paul’s Jewish community.
“If anybody does have video or if anyone knows who did this terrible thing, we would appreciate it if they got in touch with us,” police spokesperson Steve Linders said.
Perin said a neighbor’s security camera captured what appeared to be someone in a small, white pickup truck tossing bags early Monday.
The fliers were enclosed in sealable plastic bags and weighted with rice so they could be tossed from a car. They allege “every single aspect of gun control is Jewish” and include an illustration of the Star of David opposite a satanic pentagram.
The fliers also list the names and pictures of more than 20 Jewish lobbyists, politicians and lawyers who they say favor gun control. The name of “Goyim TV” — a video platform that streams anti-Semitic content and is associated with a California-based hate group — was also printed on the fliers.
“These fliers were distributed randomly and without malicious intent,” they read.
Jonathan Gershberg of Jewish Community Action wasn’t buying it. “This was a coordinated attempt to intimidate Jews and their families in a historically Jewish neighborhood of St. Paul,” he said. “But the most important thing to recognize is they are going to fail.” As an example, he pointed to what Perin and other neighbors did Monday morning.