The head of the regional Anti-Defamation League said anti-Semitic acts are a growing problem throughout the United States.
“We're talking about harassment, then we're talking about property crimes and then eventually we're talking about assault,” said Cheryl Drazin.
The ADL's annual report shows a 57 percent increase of anti-Semitic acts nationwide in 2017 compared to 2016. That’s the largest single year increase on record.
There’s also been a 94 percent increase in public schools, kindergarten through 12th grade.
“It is alarming and its frightening. It’s really, I think, a broader statement on where we are as a country that we're normalizing some of this behavior. Our students -- even our youngest students in elementary school -- are seeing it, they're repeating it, they're acting on it,” Drazin said.
Saturday’s shooting a Pittsburgh synagogue that left 11 dead was on the minds of staff and visitors to the Dallas Holocaust Museum on Monday.
“This crime represents how fractured we've become,” said museum president Mary Pat Higgins. “We're concerned because the evil motives that drove the Holocaust, the desire of humans to separate ourselves into groups and categories into us and them, it’s still very much a problem.”
A larger space is being built for the museum in downtown Dallas so the story of the millions murdered by Nazi Germany won’t be forgotten. Higgins hopes visitors leave changed.
“Starting with the children touring this museum, when they see someone being bullied in their classroom, someone sitting alone in the lunch room, it’s their responsibility to stand up, to sit next to them. They don’t have to fight for them, just be kind,” Higgins said.
Todd and Nicole Haley, from North Carolina, visited the museum on Monday.
“It’s very informative, a lot of stuff that I didn't know but a lot of stuff that I did,” Todd Haley said. “Just seeing the visual of, you know, what you hear, it’s pretty pretty powerful.”
Higgins and Drazin both believe the discourse needs to change and civility and respect need to become more prominent in American life.