BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT) — Jewish leaders in Birmingham said anti-semitism, the hatred of Jews, is on the rise.

One of the most recent attacks happened in New York this weekend when a man walked into a Rabbi’s home during a Hanukkah party and started stabbing people.

At the Levite Jewish Community Center in Mountain Brook, the interim executive director, Samantha Dubrinsky, said every time there is an attack anywhere, they take it seriously. She said a lot of security measures are in place to make sure their members are safe.

“Our reaction is the same how it is from when the bomb threats first occurred to now, we take every instance very seriously. We have really increased our security at the JCC and that’s something we’re really proud of. We want our members who are both Jewish and non-Jewish to feel extremely safe when they’re here and we want people to feel welcomed,” said Dubrinsky.

Rabbi Adam Wright with Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham said anti-semitic attacks have increased, and we need to look deeper at the problem.

“Regardless of one’s religious affiliation, political ideologies, we’ve been seeing the increase in antisemitism for a while. If you look at FBI statistics or the Anti-Defamation League, the majority of hate crimes are against the Jewish people and United States. It has doubled compared to other ethnic minorities, so we need to treat anti-semitism solely as an attack on the Jewish people,” said Rabbi Wright.

Rabbi Wright said anti-semitic acts are being seen on college campuses, Synagogues, homes, and many other places around the country.

He said his synagogue, Temple Emanu-El, has security in place, which is the reality of today. He hopes everyone in Alabama, not just the Jewish community, understands what is happening.

“Empathize with us and know we are proud American Jews. We have been part of this country since inception. We were instrumental in the American Revolution and we are instrumental today to giving to this country,” said Rabbi Wright.

Dubrinsky with the JCC said she hopes these attacks bring out a side of unity from everyone and come to the JCC.

“I hope people in Birmingham understand that even though it’s not happening in Birmingham, Alabama, God forbid, it’s still a very real possibility and that the global Jewish community needs their support just as much as our small Jewish community in Birmingham does. We take every precaution to make sure it doesn’t happen in Birmingham,” said Dubrinsky

“It doesn’t matter if one is a reform Jew, progressive Jew, more traditional, or Orthodox. Anti-semites hate Jews, regardless, and what we saw over the weekend has been an epidemic of anti-semitic attacks in the Tri-state area for months. This is the first time we have seen national media outlets pay attention to a poison which has been plauging the Jewish people for thousands of year,” said Rabbi Wright.