The Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur is the holiest of all holidays. It requires observers to reach spiritual highs by stripping the body of both food and water. Worshippers spend the day at synagogue connecting with God however, yesterday anti-Semitic attackers hoped to terrorize and kill members of Jewish communities in both Germany and the U.S.

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The first attack occurred in Halle, Germany where a gunman attempted to enter a synagogue. His efforts to enter however, were unsuccessful because of the building’s strong door. In a devastating turn of events, the attacker killed two people nearby and seriously injured two others.

A second attacker targeted the Brooklyn Jewish Center. According to the New York Post, police said a backpack set ablaze was placed on the building’s steps. The New York Police Department confirmed to SaraACarter.com that the perpetrator had fled the scene and the incident was “deemed a non-bias incident.”

Jewish communities in both the U.S. and Europe are on constant high alert due with a recent uptick in anti-Semitism. According to the Anti Defamation League’s annual audit on anti-Semitism, 1,879 anti-Semitic incidents occurred in 2018 in the United States alone. It was the third highest year on record, according to the ADL.

According to a 2018 survey conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, “antisemitism pervades the public sphere” across Europe. Nine out of ten Jewish respondents reported feeling an increase in anti semitism both online and in the public. In response, many European countries continue to suppress public displays of religiosity including in Germany, where Jewish men are encouraged to not wear the Kippah, or head covering.