DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Antisemitism has been on the rise nationwide. Over 49 bomb threats targeting Jewish synagogues have been reported in the last two months, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Unfortunately, this disturbing trend hit close to home with a local temple being the target of one.
During the celebration of the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah at Temple Israel last weekend, worshipers received a threatening call from a suicide crisis hotline.
Dayton police quickly responded and traced the call back to Washington D.C., ultimately deeming the threat non-credible. Temple Israel expressed their gratitude for law enforcement’s rapid response.
“We’re extremely grateful that the situation was handled quickly and in a manner that enabled our congregation to continue services without interruption,” Suzanne Shaw, executive director of Temple Israel, said. “We will not let these people that are doing this instill fear into us. We can still continue to worship.”
This incident coincides with a rise in swatting calls across the nation, with 49 such incidents reported across 13 states in recent months.
Swatting calls aim to disrupt and even deter people from going about their normal activities.
Temple Israel showed resolve in the face of troubling actions by finishing their holiday service.
Antisemitic incidents have increased by 36 percent nationwide since last year, as reported by the Anti-Defamation League. Ohio has seen a steady rise, with incidents increasing from 25 in 2019 to 61 last year.
Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Federation Cathy Gardner is hoping national organizations will make it clear on a larger scale that these actions are not welcome.
“This is not tolerated in our country, and certainly the people locally have stated that as well,” Gardner said. “This is not tolerated.”
The Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton said the support from the non-Jewish community brings hope as the group monitors these harmful acts.