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“Love is stronger than hate”: religious leaders respond to recent hate crimes

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VESTAL (WBNG) -- A recent anti-Semitic attack in Rockland County has local Jewish leaders advocating for fighting hate with love.

Rabbi Geoffrey Brown of Temple Israel in Vestal told 12 News Jewish religious texts place heavy emphasis on taking care of those less fortunate, and that love extends to all people.

When asked what his faith has taught him about how to respond to attacks, he said that inclusion and tolerance are always the answer.

"The Torah does teach that we are to take care of the downtrodden, of the orphans, of the widows, of the foreigners, of the people who are not us, the other," said Rabbi Brown Monday. "We are to bring them into our community and take care of them."

Rabbi Brown said his congregation has had to increase security measures at the temple in recent years due to what he said is a rise in anti-Semitic incidents.

According to F.B.I. hate crime statistics, hate crimes against Jews have increased almost 30%, including almost 900 crimes in 2018 alone.

Josh Rosenblatt

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