A world that needs to be more accepting

With the rise of anti-Semitism, this world needs to embrace religious tolerance

Jessica Simms, Arts and Life Editor

As a Jewish-American woman, I am fortunate to say that I have not personally faced many acts of anti-Semitism, the hostility or prejudice against Jews. However, as a Jew living in the United States, I am still scared for myself and my fellow Jews due to the rising numbers of anti-Semitic acts happening throughout the country.

Just last year, the U.S experienced near-historic levels of anti-Semitism, according to a report documented by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). There were 1,879 attacks on Jewish institutions and Jews, making 2018 the third-highest year for anti-semitic acts on record since the ADL began tracking this data. However, in New York City, anti-Semitic hate crimes are up 63% compared to the amount in 2018 and in Massachusetts, there has been already 60 incidents of anti-Semitism reported, where in past years, like 2018, there were 35 reported incidents, according to WNYC Studios.

With this rise in anti-Semitic acts, it is a scary time to be a Jew. Seeing nearby communities being impacted by these crimes has been hard to watch. A town just a little under an hour away from my hometown, Franklin, Massachusetts, was just recently impacted by a form of anti-Semitism, when middle school students posted anti-Semitic comments over Snapchat. It is scary to see the children of our future acting in ways that I would have thought would be eliminated by now.

Hating others based off of differences such as religion, race and beliefs is not OK and seeing children acting that way toward their fellow classmates is upsetting. This hatred needs to stop now.

Not only are communities in the U.S having a rise in the number of anti-Semitic crimes occurring, so are other countries. Just very recently, on Yom Kippur, one of the holiest days of the year for Jews, there was a shooting rampage right outside a synagogue in Halle, Germany. This is just one example, probably one of the most disturbing examples, in my opinion, since it occurred outside a synagogue, a house of prayer for Jews, on one of the High Holy Days for the Jews.

This world needs to be more accepting of others, and the past few years have marked a disappointing trend of intolerance. For minorities, it is hard to be accepted and it has been recently, since the most recent presidential election. Two of the biggest acts of anti-semitism in the U.S. occurred since Donald Trump was elected: the Pittsburgh shooting on Oct. 27, 2018, taking 11 lives and the Poway shooting on April 27, 2018, occurring the last day of Passover, another important Jewish holiday. Lori Gilbert Kaye, a woman who threw herself in front of the rabbi of the synagogue that this happened at, died that day.

The entire world is in a crisis of hatred toward those who deem themselves as different, but we are all different, aren’t we? If we were all exactly the same, then this world would just be sad. We need a little bit of uniqueness in our world making us the people that we are, but if we just criticized and condemned people’s differences, in turn, then we would all be hated on.

As a Jew, this topic was easy to write about, since it hits so close to home for me, but this world really needs everyone’s help to completely wipe out the hatred of another being different from yourself. We need to be more accepting, embracing people’s differences, no matter if they look different than you, believe in a different faith than you and are from a different place than you. Being different is what makes you who you are and we need to accept that.