The Jewish community feels increasingly targeted by harassment, vandalism and expression, according to the federation's Jewish Community Relations Council. It reviewed incidents brought to its attention in 2016 and found several trends, over the previous year. One was an increase in anti-Semitic harassment among middle and high school students, as well as more reports of anti-Semitism on Wisconsin college campuses. Another increase the council reported was of swastika graffiti, and a third was anti-Semitic slurs.
Council Director Elana Kahn urges people to remain vigilant in opposing hateful speech and actions. "We see from history that when communities allow people to be targeted based on their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or other identity markets, terrible things can happen," Kahn wrote, in a release.
On the bright side, the federation reports that of the 2016 incidents it was able to address by working with schools, police or national agencies, many had positive outcomes.