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Anti-Semitism In Schools On The Rise

By Carter Barrett, IPB News | Published on in Crime, Faith and Religion, Government
The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council hosted the symposium on anti-Semitism in the Indianapolis Central Library.
The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council hosted the symposium on anti-Semitism in the Indianapolis Central Library.

The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council says national data shows a 94 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents in schools from elementary to high school.

Allison Rosenfeld is with The Anti-Defamation League, which keeps track of such incidents.

“The incident rate has gone up,” Rosenfeld says. “We feel that people who used to maybe be willing to be a hater but hide – let’s say behind some other name or behind a computer screen – are actually now more willing to be out there.”

Earlier this month, swastikas were drawn in a boy’s bathroom at Pike High School. It was one of many conversations at the JCRC’s symposium on anti-Semitism.

Rosenfeld says swastika graffiti and paraphernalia is not an outlier but the new normal. At the symposium, IUPUI Education professor Jeremy Price hosted a session on being Jewish in school.

“One of the things that it really takes is going to the place where it becomes uncomfortable,” Price says. “Schools, often they embrace diversity, but what they need to do is allow for this multitude of voices to be heard.”

Indiana does not have hate crime legislation. But Republican Governor Eric Holcomb called for lawmakers to act after an anti-Semitic incident at a Carmel synagogue this summer.