Houston ranked among worst offenders for anti-Semitism

Lileana Pearson Image
Friday, March 24, 2023
Houston ranked among worst offenders for anti-Semitism
A study by the Anti-Defamation League says anti-Semitism is up nationwide, and Texas is one of the worst states.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The numbers are in, and it's not good for Houston. A yearly study done by the Anti-Defamation League says anti-Semitism is up nationwide and Texas is one of the worst states.

"It doesn't feel great," CEO of the Houston Jewish Community Center Joel Dinkin said.

Dinkin said the report put out by the ADL is concerning but, unfortunately, not a surprise.

SEE ALSO: US antisemitic incidents at highest level since group started recording them in 1970s

"It tracks with the history. It's certainly not something we want to be first in or see an increase in. Unfortunately, we have seen incidents here around the JCC," Dink said.

According to the ADL, 2022 was the worst year to date when it comes to recorded incidents of hate toward the Jewish community. About 3,697 incidents towards individuals were reported.

Houston is logged in the southwest region, of the more than 3,000 reports, 73 were in the southwest, accounting for an 87% spike in the last year. Of those 73 reports in the region, more than half were from Houston alone.

"We're also seeing people are more comfortable expressing anti-Semitism and hate whether that is in school, whether that is some people who are entrusted with an elected office as well," ADL South West Director Mark Toubin said.

SEE ALSO: Community, leaders condemn anti-Semitic flyers found in Missouri City: 'We can rise beyond racism'

The report accounts for harassment, vandalism, and assault. There was also a doubling in activities organized by white supremacist groups.

Dinkin said the report highlights what we're doing now to fight back isn't working.

"It's hard to have a rational conversation with somebody who is exhibiting irrational thoughts and behaviors, and sometimes those kinds of conversations are better left unsaid," Dinkin said.

SEE ALSO: What is antisemitism? Explaining anti-Jewish ideas and hate

Dinkin is instead focusing on the youth, creating a safe space to ask questions and learn.

Dinkin shared it's a constant balance to share in the joy of his community and constantly be worried about their safety. He said as the years have gone on, the center has had to take extreme measures, such as hiring armed security to ensure their community center is a protected space for learning.

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