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Alert Raised On Holocaust Remembrance Day As Antisemitism Cases Continue To Rise

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Yom Ha'Shoah is Hebrew for Holocaust Remembrance Day, and this year it has added meaning as incidents of antisemitism continue to rise.

"My father is a Holocaust survivor he lost his parents, his two brothers and sister in the concentration camp," Dina Bensimon said.

Bensimon and her family were visiting the Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach Thursday morning.

"I want the kids to know and to transfer it to their kids so that nobody will forget what happened," she told CBS4.

Millions of Jews died as a result of the Nazi genocide.

"Hate doesn't start with a gun or a knife, so we want to teach everyone to be careful with how they treat other humans, each one has a life and each of us is terribly important," Sharon Horowitz, Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach Exec. Dir explained.

Yet alarmingly, the statistics from the Anti-Defamation League showed that antiemetic reports have reached an all-time high in 2021. 2,717 incidents in a single year during a 10-year review period.

"So, one of the incidents that we had, occurred this past December is that Temple Emanu-el on Miami Beach, this was an incident where a Swastika painted on that temple but was an act to intimidate not just that temple but really that entire Jewish community," Sarah Emmons, Anti-Defamation League Florida Regional Dir. said.

A total of 88 of the reports were categorized as assaults, where Jewish people were targeted with physical violence, 167% increase from 33 in 2020.

"And that's very alarming so in addition to an increase in harassment and vandalism we are seeing an increase in assaults nationwide," Emmons added.

Florida was one of the states with the highest number of acts of antisemitism, with 190 reports. About a 50% increase from the year before.

"Something like this could happen again, that starts with bias it starts with harassments and vandalism which is why we take these incidents so seriously," Emmons warned.

Part of the message today is not only to learn about history, but to understand the dangers of hate.

"No judging no one, and trying to make the world a better place," Bensimon said.

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