Mum of girl attacked over IDF jacket in mall shocked that ‘nobody stopped’ assault

Adi Vaxman said since October 7, she has seen threats against Jews intensify


Adi Vaxman and her family (Photo: Adi Vaxman)

The mother of a 16-year-old Jewish girl who was harassed in New Jersey has said that “nobody stopped” their attackers, even though they were surrounded by bystanders.

Adi Vaxman’s daughter was wearing an IDF jacket – gifted to her by her Israeli grandfather – when the attack took place. Vaxman described how a couple “came up from behind” her family and began “yelling and screaming and cursing”. She said they called her daughter “a whore and a bitch”.

Vaxman told the Jewish Chronicle that her daughter is “a little rattled, but she’ll get over it”. When the attack took place, Vaxman was with her husband, daughter, and younger son, who ran to hide when the couple approached them.

Vaxman’s husband came in between the couple and his family, but this did not prevent the attack – the woman, who Vaxman described as “almost rabid,” hit her, knocking her phone to the ground. “She was cursing and screaming and then she hit me,” Vaxman told the JC. “She grabbed my arm and I pushed her away.”

Adi Vaxman said that even after the attack, she would not tell her daughter to hide her identity. “No-one is going to make me a victim and ashamed of who I am,” she said. “I am Jewish and I’m proud to be”.

The mother, and founder of a non-profit supporting the IDF since October 7, said she wanted to use this experience “to send a message”. “Nobody should ever be afraid to walk around in a mall full of children,” she told the JC. “It doesn’t matter who you are”.

Since October 7, according to antisemitism watchdog the ADL, there has been a 400 per cent rise in antisemitic incidents across America, somthing which Vaxman has experienced herself. “Most people in this country are decent and good,” she said, “but there is an atmosphere now in this country where you can do anything”.

“My company has been harassed,” Vaxman said, “and they have posted our names, our addresses, and our kids’ names”.

She told the JC she takes courage from her grandparents, who fled the Holocaust. “My grandparents raised me to do the right thing, and stand up for my family” she said. “They were forced to hide and run, but I’m not”.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive