Local Jewish Community Reacts To National Spike Of Anti-Semitic Crime

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - The Department of Homeland Security is increasing support for Jewish institutions across the country after an increase in vandalism and violent threats. In the last two months, Jewish Community Centers and Synagogues have been over 120 bomb threats reported to law enforcement agencies across the country.

The House of Jacob Synagogue in Wichita Falls was not one of those recent victims of anti-Semitic violence. They are a small congregation, but worry about what they see happening in other parts of the country.

"So far as locally here in Wichita Falls we don't have this problem, but around the world it breaks my heart," said Lay Leader for the House of Jacob Synagogue in Wichita Falls.

The rise in anti-Semitic acts of crime have members of the Jewish Community like Simpson concerned. Simpson said that he believes many people with anti-Semitic views don't fully understand what it is they are hating. Even when confronted with aggressive words or hate fueled sentiments Simpson said he tries to respond back with love and respect instead of resentment.

"Somebody does something wrong to you and they come to you and they try and make it right, if you don't accept their apology you're a bigger sinner than they were. That's a fundamental in Judaism," said Simpson.

As far as Simpson is concerned he said both he and his community will always keep their doors open.

"This is the Sabbath this is the gift I mean who doesn't like sharing a gift. I think that is what people really get out of it. I feel the power it's such a wonderful thing so yeah, I'd like to have more bodies in here but there is something about the intimacy, even when we had a large congregation you still felt that. I mean being Jewish we're less than 2% of the worlds population, but that's part of it man. I mean it's very special, I'm really glad to be a Jew," said Simpson.

Anti-Semitic views won't vanish from the world overnight but Simpson remain optimistic about the future for both him and the rest of the Jewish community. Simpson said that the House of Jacob Synagogue holds service on Friday night at 7.