(The Center Square) – The state of Texas is continuing to advance multiple resources to protect and support its Jewish community.

After Hamas terrorists attacked Israel, killed over 1,400 people and took hostages from over 40 countries, Gov. Greg Abbott surged resources and enhanced security for Jewish organizations in Texas.

The Texas Comptroller also reminded businesses about Texas' Israel boycott list and announced that Texas has purchased $20 million in Israel bonds.

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They did so after Abbott celebrated Israel’s 75th anniversary of independence in Houston in May and recently expressed solidarity with Israel and Jews in Texas at an event in Austin after the attacks.

On Monday, he held an emergency meeting with members of the Texas Holocaust, Genocide, and Antisemitism Advisory Commission in Austin to identify ways Texans can quickly report and take pre-emptive action against acts of antisemitism. The legislature and governor created the commission in 2021.

"There is a new urgency to what your duties are as members of the Texas Holocaust, Genocide, and Antisemitism Advisory Commission," he told them. "We face the devastating consequences of the Israel-Hamas conflict, and we are confronting massive and rapidly expanding antisemitism across the globe. These acts of hate and genocide must end.”

One of the commission’s core missions is to share expertise and effective strategies to address accelerating antisemitism in Texas. Abbott reiterated at the meeting, “Let me be clear: Texas stands with Israel, Israel's right to defend itself, and with our Jewish neighbors here in Texas."

Abbott has encouraged schools statewide to utilize additional resources shared by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) “to increase awareness and understanding” about the Israel-Hamas conflict.

“These additional resources will supplement the current comprehensive approach to teaching world studies in Texas by providing our students an elevated understanding of the current conflict in Israel through informed classroom discussions, multimedia resources, and in-depth learning experiences,” Abbott said. He said he hopes the resources will “ensure our students are protected against false information and historical misrepresentations that breed hatred and condone violence against innocent communities.”

The TEA also sent correspondence to school systems statewide, stating, “The effects of the recent acts of war carried out against the State of Israel and its people by the terrorist organization Hamas are being felt all over the world and in Texas. As details of the attacks on Israel and violence in the region are shared daily by news outlets and on social media, it is important to help our students learn about the roots of the conflict and how to report incidents of hate speech and/or acts of violence.”

TEA has recommended four optional resources by grade level. For grades 6-12 it recommends Support for Classroom Discussion on the Hamas-Israel War, provided by the Institute for Curriculum Services, and 10 Ways to Have Conscientious Conversations on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, provided by the Anti-Defamation League.

For students in grades 9-12, it recommends What Is U.S. Policy on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?, provided by the Council on Foreign Relations, and How to Talk to Kids About Violence, Crime, and War, provided by Common Sense Media.

In 2019, Abbott signed a bill into law to establish Holocaust Remembrance Week, which falls in January. Next year, it’s Jan. 22-26.

The legislature also approved more than $4 million in grant funding to help 31 Jewish organizations enhance security efforts. Last year, through the state’s public safety grants, millions were also allocated to support physical security enhancements and other measures taken by nonprofit organizations, including synagogues, and other religious organizations at high risk of a terrorist attacks.

Texas DPS has encouraged Texans to use iWatch, a free, anonymous resource to report suspicious activity. They can make reports on the iWatch website, phone app and toll-free number, 844-643-2251.

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Data for this list was acquired from trusted online sources and news outlets. Read on to discover what major law was passed the year you were born and learn its name, the vote count (where relevant), and its impact and significance.

Gallery Credit: Katelyn Leboff

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