‘A rising tide of hate is scary for everyone’: Rabbi condemns rise in antisemitic attacks
According to the Anti-defamation League’s recent report, incidents of antisemitism include assault, vandalism and harassment.
“A rising tide of hate is scary for everyone,” said Rabbi Ben Freed of the Keneseth Israel Congregation in Louisville.
In 2022, there was also a 69% increase in attacks against visibly identifiable orthodox Jews.
“So the more you self-identify, and the more you stand out as a Jewish person, there is some level of elevated risk there,” said Rabbi Freed.
Rabbi Freed says protecting those inside their temples and synagogues has become a renewed focus in recent years.
“I get sad sometimes when I drive past a church on Sunday, and I just see their doors open, and anyone can walk in because we don’t have that luxury as Jews,” Rabbi Freed said. “We do need to make sure that we are safe and keeping our community safe when we gather.”
According to FBI hate crime figures, American Jews are disproportionately affected by hate crimes compared to other religious groups.
Kentucky saw 16 reported incidents last year, up from seven the year before but down from the 19 recorded in 2020.
Rabbi Freed says showing support for your neighbors doesn’t always have to wait until tragedy strikes.
“When you hear that something really terrible happened to a synagogue or something along those lines, I should find a Jewish person and make sure they’re okay. But really, that means so much more if you already know them, if you’re already connected, if you already have a relationship,” said Rabbi Freed.
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft announced Monday that he and his family are investing $25 million in a national campaign to fight antisemitism. They are using the hashtag “stand-up to Jewish hate.”
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