Judge at Long Island Student Robotics Contest Filmed Uttering Antisemitic Comment
A judge at a student robotics contest in Long Island last weekend was caught on video uttering an antisemitic remark in front of the competitors.
The derogatory slur — “God d*** Jews” — was said after a student from Woodmere Middle School referred to a former church building that had been bought by the United Hebrew Community of New York.
The tournament, organized by First Lego League, a national organization headquartered in New Hampshire, took place at Mineola High School on Sunday and drew participants from various school districts.
Yan Vilensky, who filmed the incident, had accompanied his son to the event.
“There were about 14 kids in the group, a very diverse group of different races, faces, and religions, and some of the kids’ eyes went up when they heard the comment,” Vilensky told The Algemeiner on Thursday.
“I got so angry because it was inappropriate and disgusting to say something like that in front of children,” he recalled. “But I kept filming because I didn’t want to ruin anything for the children. It’s not their fault, so I had a delayed response to this.”
After the incident, Vilensky reached out to a number of school administrators and Jewish organizations.
One group, Americans Against Anti-Semitism — founded by ex-New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind — is now demanding accountability and calling for disciplinary action, including removing the judge from her position if she is found to be an educator.
“God only know what the discussions are when she’s talking to her friends, neighbors, or family,” Hikind told The Algemeiner on Thursday.
“The whole thing is really quite incredible,” he added. “It’s indicative of a real serious problem that we have with people who have terrible biases, who have hate in their hearts.”
Both Vilinksy and Hikind have been in touch with other parents and community members, who were similarly outraged.
In response, Mineola High School issued a statement denouncing the judge’s comments.
“It is a shame that the hateful comments of one person will taint this very worthwhile and critical organization,” the statement said.
Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools also commented on the matter, saying the judges were not district staff members and that the contest organizers had been contacted and were cooperating with an investigation.
“Comments of this nature will not be tolerated,” the school district said.
The identity of the offending judge remained unknown as of press time.
“The bottom line is we should have answers,” said Hikind. “I want to know who this woman is. I would like to know where this hate came from.”
Watch a report from NBC New York on the incident below: