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"It really says something about a state when they don't want to pass these laws." Terre Haute's Jewish community talks hate crime laws

One local synagogue hopes that a hate crime law passes so that they can feel the full support from the community.

Posted: Jan 24, 2019 6:45 PM
Updated: Jan 24, 2019 6:54 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind.(WTHI)- Indiana is one out of five states that do not have a hate crime law.

Betsy Frank, the president of the United Hebrew Congregation says having those laws could not only protect members of the temple but also the community.

The Jewish community in Terre Haute is small but has been around for 170 years.

In order to keep their congregation alive, Frank feels it's important that members of the community realize they exist.

"I think not knowing who you're directing your actions against, often you act out of fear, lack of knowledge, that's why it's so important in a small community you know the Jewish community--who we are," said Frank.

The temple is one of the original sacred places of Indiana and wants to continue their mark here in Terre Haute.

"I want to know that I'm welcome in this community and there's a place for me and that's why we're very committed to maintaining this congregation," said Frank.

Overall the temple is doing its part to stay an intricate part of the community.

Frank says after events like the shooting in Pittsburgh, the community really did its part to let them know they weren't alone.

"It helps us know that the Terre Haute community is very supportive of our tiny little Jewish community," said Frank.

Now, they can only hope that legislation helps out.

If you would like to learn more about the history of the synagogue you can click here.

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