Anti-Semistism: In Akron, In America

Dear friends of the Interfaith Movement:

In January of 2022, the Rabbi and several members of a synagogue in Houston, Texas, were taken hostage by a gun-wielding British Pakistani, during sabbath services. In the end, the hostages were safely released. But, the incident itself could be seen as 2022 picking up right where 2021 ended, which was as the year with the highest annual number of antisemitic incidents ever recorded by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

In 2021, ADL tabulated 2,717 anti-Semitic incidents across the United States. This represents a 34% increase from the 2,026 incidents recorded in 2020 and is the highest number on record since ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979.   There is a significant upswing in such acts of hate in the United States.

What explains this terrifying present trend? How does it fit into the historical picture of hate directed at Jews? What can we do, as a multifaith community, to assist our Jewish neighbors right here in Akron? Those are questions that the Akron Area Interfaith Council took up in a three-part series on anti-semitism, both nationwide and here in Akron.

Evening Three – “Strength in Numbers: What Our Interfaith Community Can Do” was a panel discussion on how all of Akron can stand with our Jewish neighbors to help assuage their fears of facing these trends alone, to let them know that they are not alone. Watch this panel discussion now >>

Evening Two – “Rising Numbers: Anti-Semitism in America Today” with Jim Pasch, Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), was an exploration of the factors that might help us to understand the striking rise in hate crimes directed at Jews, right now, and in our country today. Watch this conversation now >>

Evening One – “We’ve Seen This Before: The Historical Path of Anti-Semitism” with Dr. Christopher Seeman, Professor of Theology, Walsh University, did precisely what the title suggested, examining the historical phenomenon of anti-Semitism, in order to help us see what has always been there and pick out new venues and sources of hate. Video not currently available.

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