NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Anti-Semitic attacks in the United States soared by 105% in 2018, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
"If you do the numbers, it averages out to about five incidents a day across the United States, Anti-Semitic incidents, which is staggering," said Evan Bernstein, the regional director of the ADL New York/New Jersey.
New York State has seen a 55% increase in anti-Semitic assaults, Bernstein said. In addition to physical assaults, there are many examples of hate-filled graffiti. He said the troubling increases only paint part of the picture. The emotional toll is very serious, too.
"It's been a very difficult time for people to be openly Jewish and show their faith and go to synagogue on Shabbat and walk the streets," Bernstein said. "And that's something that we're trying to rectify."
For the third year in a row, hate crimes overall jumped 17%, according to the FBI's most recent annual survey. The crimes are motivated mainly by race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation.
The New Zealand mosque massacre sent shockwaves through the Muslim community. Charlottesville stunned America, causing special pain to the African American and Jewish communities. Black churches have also come under attack. All share a similar threat, according to Bernstein: white supremacist hate that is often fueled online and hiding in plain sight.
"Especially now that they've ratcheted back on the look and feel of looking like a traditional white supremacist or skinhead, they're absolutely able to move more easily within our society," Bernstein said. "They're able to cover themselves with these online chat rooms and blogs that are constantly popping up."
To combat hate, the best thing is to have open dialogues that include diverse groups and make sure you and your circles are educated, Bernstein said.