Panel talks Anti-Semitism one year after mass murder

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Saturday, November 2, 2019
News 12 at 11 o'clock

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Just over a year after a mass murder left 11 dead at a Pittsburgh synagogue, the Congregation Children of Israel held a panel discussion to discuss anti-semitism.

"It was the worst expression of Anti-Semitic violence in American history," said Mark Weitzman, Director of Government Affairs for the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Anti-Semitic violence changed the way Congregation Children of Israel secured their synagogue.

"We have had to raise our security concerns," said Rachel Ray of CCI. "We've had to raise our security awareness just to be here in a synagogue where all we want to do is study our faith."

The Simon Wiesenthal Center said anti-Semetic went up 13 percent in 2018. They're holding panel discussions around the country in an effort to bring awareness and start a conversation about a difficult topic.

"I think it forces people to confront the remnants and the reality of anti-Semitism in America today," said Weitzman.

Weitzman wrote the definition for anti-Semitism, and it's been adopted by more than 30 countries and counting.

"Most of the definitions for anti-Semitism that were academic...were created years and years ago," he said.

He said understanding what anti-Semitism is could help people recognize potential threats. While some signs are obvious, many are not.

They hope this panel becomes a conversation had all over the world.

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