Antisemitic hate crimes on the rise in NY and throughout the country

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Passover is a time for celebration for Jewish people, but a new report released by the Anti-Defamation League shows the number of hate crimes against Jews across the country continues to rise.

According to the ADL, hate crimes against Jewish people jumped 36 percent in 2022, compared to 2021, and had the highest number of incidents in the past 10 years.

“We have to remember that where Jews are hated, everybody will eventually be hated. All minorities, all marginalized people,” said Monica Gebell, Director of Community Relations for the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester.

When it comes to antisemitic hate crimes, Gebell says we need to do a lot more in terms of educating our community about what Judaism essentially is.

“Because these conversations need to be so nuanced, and because they take time, there has to be a sincere effort on the part of people who are willing to listen, and a time commitment as well,” said Gebell.

The Anti-Defamation League reports almost 3,700 incidents happened nationally last year. Temple B’rith Kodesh Senior Rabbi says the numbers don’t surprise him. He says the increase comes in many forms of hate.

“It’s not just verbal harassment, it’s physical assault in synagogues and Jewish institutions. It’s in public places. It’s in all different parts of our society,” said Rabbi Stein. 

There were 580 of those incidents in New York State. Out of six in the Rochester area, two were classified as antisemitic.

“It’s happening in Rochester. It’s happening in the suburbs of Rochester in lots of different ways,” said Rabbi Stein.

He went on to say that he shares three things with his followers during this time of increased hate. First, you have to be aware. Second, can’t deny these things are happening, and lastly, the way the community responds.

“We have to build bridges across the lines of difference. We have to build relationships between people who are Jewish, and people who are not Jewish, and people who are of one political opinion, and another political opinion. If we only talk to ourselves, we’ll never get anywhere,” said Rabbi Stein.

According to the ADL, the Rochester area also saw three instances last year where antisemitic fliers were dropped off in local neighborhoods.