December marks nearly two months of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. In recent weeks, we have seen temporary ceasefires play out, in exchange for hostages and prisoners, as well as an unsettling trend of antisemitism in the United States.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, in the month following Hamas’ attack—Oct. 7 to Nov. 7—there have been 832 antisemitic incidents. During the same time last year, there were 200 incidents total.
“No one feels safe anymore,” Rabbi Sonja Pilz, Congregation of Beth Shalom in Bozeman said. “It’s like, twice traumatizing to realize that: yes, it is possible to, within the state of Israel, and it is also possible to hit us and hunt us outside of the state of Israel.”
Rabbi Chaim Bruk, Chabad Lubavitch of Montana, notes that there is fear and shock amongst the Jewish community in Bozeman but notes this has been an awakening.
WATCH: Extended interviews with rabbis Sonja Pilz and Chaim Bruk
“I think Hamas has underestimated the beast that they have wakened, because Jewish people have a pride now, that I haven’t seen in my lifetime,” Bruk said, “Jews are coming out of the woodwork, Jews are showing up at the Synagogue."
Both Rabbi Sonja and Rabbi Bruk say that the support that those in Montana have shown over the past two months has touched them and those in the Jewish community.
"Everyone of those phone calls and every one of those emails goes a long way because right now for many Jews, all we look on TV and we see these crazy demonstrations and riots," Bruk said.