Eugene, OR – A local woman is hoping for change after she said she received antisemitic messages through the dating app, Hinge.
The woman wanted to remain anonymous because she fears for her safety. She said what started as a normal conversation quickly turned targeted.
“I was just so caught off guard. He, out of nowhere and sent this really antisemitic text that was talking about gas chambers and was like, ‘do you want to reunite with your ancestors?'” the woman said.
She was instantly uncomfortable and quit in a state of shock.
“On these dating apps, people have how many miles you are in relation to them. I could be one mile from this person or two miles from that person.
And in this case, I was just two miles from this guy,” the woman said.
The woman also said it was scary to see how bold the man was.
“This guy was just so comfortable, saying it with his full chest, all his pictures, his name, and where he lived. It feels like a big shift in the atmosphere that people are now emboldened to say that stuff out loud,” the woman said.
She immediately reported the man, and his profile was taken off of the dating app. The Hinge Safety team sent her a response saying, in part, that they are so sorry, they take this very seriously, and that the appropriate action has been taken.
“My grandfather was a concentration camp survivor, and so it really hits differently. If he was alive today to see what people have the audacity to say to each other, he would just be like, wow,” the woman said.
This isn’t the first time she’s been targeted in Eugene. She said she’s been yelled at and her Mazuzah, a religious object some put on their door, has been ripped down a few times.
“It’s something extra to think about. I wonder, when I put on this necklace, is that person looking at me because they hate me, or are they just looking at me,” the woman said.
She said something has to change, and believes it starts with education.
“It’s just so easy for people to detach themselves from it and dehumanize victims of antisemitism that it just seems like a total joke to them,” the woman said.
She hopes her story will serve as a wake-up call throughout the community, saying though these situations are certainly not okay and can be frightening, she’s not going to live in fear because of her religion.
“I want people to still feel proud to show their identities in Eugene and to gather, pray, and go services and stuff because living in fear is not a way to live,” the woman said.