FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - "We are all considered as one people, and when we hear people are being physically attacked, it just hits us in a place of deep pain," Rabbi Paula Jayne Winnig of Congregation Achduth Vesholom said.
Rabbi Paula Jayne Winnig of Congregation Achduth Vesholom was devastated to hear a man slashed five people with a machete during a Hanukkah party in Monsey, New York.
"While these anti- semetic attacks have gotten a lot of publicity, we don't want people to lose the compassion for the other people being harmed, and we hope to return to a time of more civility," Winnig added.
Grafton Thomas was indicted Thursday on five new federal charges of targeting victims based on their religious beliefs.
Jaki Schereier, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Fort Wayne, said sadly the number of attacks continue to grow.
"There have been over 1,900 almost 2,000 attacks in the United States just during 2019. There's been a huge rise in anti-semitism instances in the United States and in Europe which the Jewish Federations in America have been following," Schereier said.
Both are praying nothing like that happens here under Indiana's Hate Crime Law.
"Unfortunately legislation that was passed, is not particularly strong, and we don't yet know how it's going to be used," Winnig said.
Because of incidents like these, security is heavy and will be for a while.
"Unfortunately, for well over 20 years, synagogues have had to be very concerned about security. We have certainly increased our security concerns and our protection systems over the past few years unfortunately having to have secure buildings is not new to us. We've had to be concerned about this for many years,” she added.