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IRF Reacts to Rise in Anti-Semitic Incidents

Monday, February 20, 2017

The International Rabbinic Fellowship notes with concern that in January of this year, 48 Jewish Community centers in 27 states and one Canadian province received 60 telephone bomb threats leading to evacuations and deep anxiety. This has been coupled with a rise in various anti-semitic incidents such as the scrawling of swastikas and vandalism at Jewish sites or public spaces in the United States. According to FBI statistics for 2016, hate crimes against Jews continue to top the list of those targeted in bias related incidents, with more than three times as many such crimes being committed against Jews as against any other specific group in American society.

Thank God no one has been harmed in any of these incidents and life has quickly returned to normal indicative of the generally safe environment that is the great blessing of life here in the United States of America. The ability to lead our lives while expressing our Jewish identity and commitment continues to be a defining hallmark of the American Jewish experience that is unique in the annals of the long history of our existence in the Diaspora.

We appreciate the work of law enforcement unto this point and call upon them to continue to make this issue a priority and vigorously investigate and prosecute these hate crimes to the full extent of the law. We call on all elected officials and people of good will to speak out in condemning these incidents of anti-semitism and to stand together with our Jewish community as we continue to monitor the situation.