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Central Texas organization educates people about Jewish holidays ahead of High Holy Days

Jackie Nirenberg with the Central Texas region of the Anti-Defamation League told 6 News antisemitic activity has been reported in Central Texas this year.​​​​​​

TEXAS, USA — Beginning at sundown on Sept. 15 and ending at sundown on Sept. 17, the High Holy Days will be observed by the Jewish community. 

There are two main High Holy Days, also known as the High Holidays. The first of these is Rosh Hashanah, which celebrates the Jewish New Year. 

Jackie Nirenberg with the Central Texas region of the Anti-Defamation League told 6 News antisemitic flyers have been reported in Central Texas this year. 

While posting this rhetoric is not a crime, Nirenberg explained how things could get far more dangerous if the proper steps towards being educated about Jewish culture aren't taken. 

Nirenberg says one of the things people can do when they hear someone say something offensive is to politely confront them about what they said to get a better understanding.

"By asking questions, you kind of start to defuse the situation and you're not as likely to put people on the defensive," Nirenberg explained. "It's really important to interrupt that at the very lowest level."

According to the ADL website, there were at least 10 antisemitic incidents for each day in 2022. They say this is the highest level of antisemitic activity since the ADL began keeping records in 1979.

"There are so many misconceptions about Jewish people that people do not take time to understand," Nirenberg said.

In January of 2022, four people were held hostage at a synagogue in North Texas. No one was hurt, but events like this have left people in the Jewish community more frightened to practice their religion. 

Nirenberg says antisemitism is most seen when Jewish people observe their holiday. 

6 News reached out to the handful of Jewish synagogues in Central Texas. Some of them did not want to speak because of safety concerns.

The ADL works with local law enforcement, organizations and school districts to teach people of all ages what is appropriate and acceptable concerning Jewish people.

"The ADL has a local hate crime task force here in Central Texas," Nirenberg added. "We encourage people who experience hate or bias to share it with law enforcement who will establish patterns of where the stuff happens."

There are many acceptable ways to greet someone who is celebrating Rosh Hashanah. If you want to keep it simple, "Happy New Year," is acceptable. 

To report any hate crime, it is encouraged to contact your regional ADL or local law enforcement. 

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