Texas Commission Recommends Steps to Counter Rising Number of Antisemitic Incidents in State

A law enforcement officer is seen outside Congregation Beth Israel, in Colleyville, Texas, Jan. 15, 2022. Brandon Bell / Getty Images.

January 1, 2023

A new report published by the Texas Holocaust, Genocide, and Antisemitism Advisory Commission (THGAAC) highlights eight recommendations “to raise awareness and fight hatred against Jews throughout Texas,” amid a sharp rise in reported antisemitic incidents in the state.

According to Secure Community Network data, there were 60 antisemitic incidents in Texas in 2022 through September 13th, up from 33 and 14 in all of 2021 and 2020 respectively.

The most prominent incident in 2022 was the hostage crisis at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville in January.

The recommendations in the THGAAC report — prepared for the State Legislature — include: instituting antisemitism training at universities; expanding Holocaust education; incorporating the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism into training and other educational materials; broadening access to Holocaust-related books; increasing connections to law enforcement; creating a state-level security grant program; prohibiting state-funded colleges and universities from engaging in BDS; and raising legislative awareness about Holocaust and antisemitism education.

The report and its recommendations can be read in full here.

The THGAAC was established by a bipartisan bill signed by Governor Greg Abbott in June 2021 to “conduct a study on antisemitism in the state, provide assistance to schools, and meet with appropriate representatives of public and private organizations to provide information in addition to various education duties around the state.”

With the same legislation, Texas adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.

Addressing the Central America Forum for Israel in July 2021, Governor Abbott said, “With the disturbing rise in antisemitism, we all have a responsibility to combat hateful rhetoric and violence in our communities. That’s why I signed a law that creates the Texas Holocaust, Genocide, and Antisemitism Advisory Commission. This commission will help to root out antisemitism in Texas, and make our communities safer.”