DENVER — Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, is normally a joyous day in the Jewish community. But not last year in Steamboat Springs.
"We had an incident at the local high school where a Jewish student, his car was vandalized with a swastika drawn in the dirt on his car by a group of students," said Rabbi Kolby Morris-Dahary, who leads the Har Mishpahah Synagogue in Steamboat Springs. She said the incident was deeply disturbing, to say the least.
"We all agree that this is unacceptable in our community, we all agree that we're better than this," Morris-Dahary said.
According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the incident in Steamboat was one of 71 anti-Semitic incidents in Colorado last year, down from 92 the year before, but still the second-highest number of incidents in Colorado since the ADL started keeping track in 1979.
Graphic created by Zack Newman.
"Anti-Semitism, which has been around for thousands of years, is still rearing its ugly head at this time," said Scott Levin, regional director of the ADL.
Levin said he's deeply concerned that the large number of anti-Semitic incidents over the years has de-sensitized people to the harm the incidents cause.
"We cannot allow anti-Semitism to become so normalized that people accept it as something that just occurs in society. It shouldn't," Levin said.
Most of the anti-Semitic incidents in Colorado in 2022 were instances of harassment, per the ADL. The breakdown per type is:
50 harassment incidents.
20 vandalism incidents.
1 assault incident.
According to the ADL, the number of anti-Semitic incidents nationwide increased by 36% in 2022 compared to the year before, to a total of nearly 3,700.
9NEWS data producer Zack Newman contributed to this report.
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