Anti-hate vigil held in Highland Park after series of anti-Semitic incidents in NJ

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An anti-hate rally was held in Highland Park Wednesday evening after a series of anti-Semitic incidents around New Jersey and the tristate area.

The Vigil for Unity was held in the cafeteria if Highland Park High School. Organizers say that the goal is to bring people of various communities and faiths together to promote communication and unity.

“This is why we absolutely must work together,” Highland Park Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler said.

Recent stats provided by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General showed that bias incidents were up over 65% in 2019 over 2018 – the largest increase since the state started tracking the data.

RELATED: ‘A worrying trend.’ Bias incidents up over 65% in the last year in New Jersey 
MORE: Hate at Home: A Kane in Your Corner Report 

"I don't know what has been unleashed in this country but we cannot allow this to continue,” the mayor said.

Various political and religious leaders attended the vigil. They discussed ways to find peace in the Garden State.

“To support one another when one is being targeted really is just the right thing to do as humans and as members of the community," said East Brunswick Mayor Brad Cohen.

The event is put on by the local chapter of the Sisters of Salaam Shalom - an organization dedicated to fighting hate against Muslims and Jews.

"I invite you to take a moment, look around and acknowledge each person; each holy soul with gratitude and recognize the significance of this moment,” Sisters of Salaam Shalom member Bonnie Freidenreich said.

The 2019 bias stats included the Dec. 10 shooting at the JC Kosher grocery store in Jersey City. Three people were killed in that attack. The gunmen were also killed.

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