A vandalized gate on the Northside. Photo by Winslow Swart.
A vandalized gate on the Northside. Photo by Winslow Swart.

In response to the anti-Semitic hate crimes that shook the Jewish community in San Antonio in August, the World Affairs Council of San Antonio is hosting Rabbi Steve Gutow to speak about ways to combat anti-Semitism.

Gutow’s lecture, titled “Anti-Semitism: The Global Resurgence of Scapegoating” will take place at Temple Beth-El on Thursday  from 5:30-7:30 p.m. General seating begins at 6 p.m. Click here for more details about the event.

Steve Gutow. Courtesy image.
Steve Gutow. Courtesy image.

The hate crimes targeted the Jewish community on two different occasions in August. The first batch of incidents included anti-Semitic vandalization of Congregation Rodfei Sholom and the surrounding community. The second vandalism streak took place at Congregation Agudas Achim. The perpetrators drew swastikas and wrote phrases such as “Jew” and “KKK” on and near the two synagogues.

Following the two incidents, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce organized a panel discussion for community and religious leaders to vocalize their thoughts about preventing religious hate crimes.

Gutow, a native Texan, will focus his lecture on the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. He is the president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group.

His main course of work focuses on teaching others about the connections between religious dynamics and foreign policy. Gutow strives to help governments speak out against religion-related violence by teaching diplomats better methods of communication regarding faith.

According to a 2014 Pew Research Center article, the number of countries with religion-related terrorist violence has doubled over the past six years. The percentage of religiously motivated violence rose from 9% in 2007 to 20% in 2012.

*Featured/top image: A vandalized gate on the Northside. Photo by Winslow Swart.

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Former Rivard Report Assistant Editor Joan Vinson is a San Antonio native who graduated from The University of Texas with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She's a yoga fanatic and an adventurer at heart....