Abuse on Redbridge's Jewish community triples in year
PUBLISHED: 19:00 06 February 2015 | UPDATED: 11:01 09 February 2015
Attacks against the Jewish community in the borough have more than tripled last year, following the resumption of the Israel-Gaza conflict last summer.
The Community Security Trust (CST), a charity dedicated to advising Jewish organisations and communities on anti-Semitism, announced this week figures have shot up from nine in 2013 to 35 last year.
Last year, Redbridge had the highest number of attacks compared to neighbouring boroughs – Havering (1), Barking and Dagenham (1) and Newham (4).
A CST spokesman said the reason for the figure was because of a higher concentration of Jews in Redbridge.
Twenty-seven incidents of abusive behaviour were recorded last year, up from just five in 2013.
Although there was no incidents of extreme violence of mass-mailed anti-Semitic literature in either year, there were five reports of damage to Jewish-owned property.
Police have upped patrols at synagogues across the country – not just in Redbridge – because of the increase in reports of anti-Semitism.
Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin blamed escalating violence in the Middle East last summer for the hike.
He said: “What generally happens communities here are affected by events in other parts of the world, like the Middle East.
“When there are issues in the Middle East, there is a rise in anti-Semitism.”
Rabbi Sufrin, of Chabad Lubavitch in Gants Hill added the Paris attacks last month “magnified” growing anti-Semitism across the world.
The CST report, announcing the figures, cited the conflict in Israel and Gaza during July and August as the “main reason” for the record total.
Rabbi Sufrin, who came to this country in the 70s, added: “I think this is the most worrying period since I arrived.
“I believe the situation can never be left dormant – it is something that has to be constantly worked on.”
Rabbi Sufrin believes young people need to be educated about different religions.