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Antisemitic Incidents Up 43-Percent In Massachusetts In 2021, ADL Reports

BOSTON (CBS) --  Antisemitic incidents in New England are on the rise, according to a report by the Anti-Defamation League. They also say antisemitic incidents across the country were at an all-time high in 2021.

"I think one of the themes of the past 12 months is that people are acting out on their hatred towards Jews," said Robert Trestan, the executive director of the Anti-Defamation League's Boston office.

The number of incidents rose in Massachusetts rose from 73 in 2020 to 108 in 2021 -- that's a 43-percent increase. Most were related to harassment and vandalism.

"I think this is a moment for us as a community is as a society we don't want to normalize hatred, whether it's against the Jewish community or against any other community," Trestan said.

One of those incidents was a Rabbi getting stabbed eight times outside of Shaloh House Jewish School in Brighton. The incident is aligned with the report that said assaults increased by 167-percent.

"I think we say to the Jewish community, we say that the fear and the concern is real but there are allies out there," Trestan said.

There was also an incident at Duxbury High School where the football team used Holocaust-related terms.

"It's a reminder that we need to be putting education measures in place," Trestan told WBZ-TV.

"We need to most of our efforts in educating our future generations to bring more light and more kindness into the world," echoed Shaloh House School Director Julia Goldberg.

The Lappin Foundation targets educating younger generations about antisemitism in Massachusetts and said any incident taking place is one too many.

"These children grow up to be adults and if no one tells them along the way this is hatred and a certain act is criminal, they'll never make that connection," Executive Director Deborah Coltin said. "It's critical students understand when antisemitism is expressed, it can be a hate crime or lead to a hate crime."

Coltin said there should be a focus on "educating students, high school and younger about the Holocaust, about antisemitism, about what happens when hate goes unchecked."

The Anti-Defamation League received more than 2,700 incident reports nationally last year, that's an average of more than seven incidents a day.

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