NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — David Waren, the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Hartford, was on a flight to Israel when he saw news about antisemitic incidents both in the U.S. and abroad.
“We are seeing manifestations of antisemitism that none of us imagined we would see in our lifetimes,” he said.
Waren is in Tel Aviv with 25 other leaders from across North America. Tuesday, he said that he had to run to a bomb shelter earlier in the day, but that most missiles were being intercepted.
Since Oct. 7, about 1,400 people have died in Israel from Hamas’ attacks, including Americans. The Palestinian death toll from Israel’s retaliatory attacks on Gaza have reached 8,000, according to the Associated Press.
Waren referenced incidents of antisemitic activity that have happened at an airport in Dagestan and at Cornell University. In Connecticut, campaign signs were defaced with profane images and swastikas over the weekend in Old Lyme, and antisemitic graffiti was found Tuesday in New Haven.
“There’s a real sense of malaise here, and, at the same time, a resolve and a sense of unity,” Waren said. “The country is coming together, but it’s a difficult circumstance.”
Connecticut’s congressional delegation has been supportive, he said, and that about $600 million has been raised across North America to help Israelis who have been dislocated from their homes.