StandWithUs is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone providing information that will help lead to the arrest of suspects in an incident in which a teenager allegedly was set on fire in Madison, Wis.
Althea Bernstein, 18, alleged that on June 24, she was in her car stopped at a traffic light with her window open when a white male, who was with three other white males, approached her and sprayed some kind of fluid on her and then threw a lighter on her. She also alleged that one of them hurled a racial slur at her.
Bernstein said she pulled over and extinguished the flames before going to a hospital, where she was treated for burns to her face and neck.
The StandWithUs Center for Combating Anti-Semitism announced on June 29 that it is offering the reward; in addition, the Madison Area Crime Stoppers are offering of $5,000 reward.
“We are grateful to the Mizel Family Foundation for making it possible for the StandWithUs Center for Combating Anti-Semitism to offer another $5,000 in addition to the $5,000 being offered by the Madison area Crime Stoppers to find the perpetrators of this hateful crime against Althea Bernstein, a Jewish black American,” Carly Gammill, director of the center, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be working with this unit of the Madison Police Department. Our reward, in addition to its $5000, sends a clear message that we will not ignore this type of vicious crime.”
Other Jewish groups have condemned the alleged hate crime.
“This sick and horrific attack is unacceptable,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted. “Hopeful @madisonpolice’s hate crime investigation brings justice against these four cowards.”
Last week, four men reportedly doused 18yo Althea Bernstein with lighter fluid and set her on fire at a stop light. This sick and horrific attack is unacceptable. Hopeful @madisonpolice's hate crime investigation brings justice against these four cowards. https://t.co/mEkHEaA3gZ
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) June 29, 2020
The American Jewish Committee similarly tweeted, “We pray for her full recovery and commend @madisonpolice and @FBI for opening a hate crime investigation.”
Horrific: 18-year-old Black Jewish woman Althea Bernstein suffered severe burns after four white men attacked her with lighter fluid and fire.
— American Jewish Committee (@AJCGlobal) June 29, 2020
The StandWithUs reward is part of the organization’s initiative launched in February, where StandWithUs, in partnership with the Mizel Family Foundation, announced that the pro-Israel educational organization will be providing rewards of at least $2,500 to those who bring forth information to law enforcement that helps solve an anti-Semitic hate crime.
Those with information regarding the incident involving Bernstein are encouraged to contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers at (608) 266-6014 or P3Tips.com.