ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Illinois and across the Midwest.

A new report from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) shows these incidents are spiking at an alarming rate.

The ADL started keeping track of these numbers back in 1979.

They said the number for last year was the highest number that they have ever recorded.

States across the Midwest saw big increases in anti-Semitic attacks, including Illinois.

“It was an alarming increase. But following what has happened over the past year across the country, sadly, and frighteningly, it was not necessarily a surprise,” said Nancy Sage with the Springfield Jewish Federation.

The report highlights harassment, assault and vandalism against Jewish people in 2021. The ADL reported more than 2,700 incidents across the country. In Illinois, the anti-Semitic incidents increased by 15 percent.

The trends did not surprise Jewish lawmakers either.

State Representative Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) stated, “There is obviously a tremendous uptick in anti-Semitism, we are seeing it in other protected categories as well.”

The Jewish Federation of Springfield keeps track of these incidents as they happen across the state. But only weeks ago, one incident hit much closer to home.

The Jewish community in Springfield was one of the many minorities targeted in hateful social media posts by former Police Officer Aaron Nichols.

“It does feel really personal,” said Sage. “And when someone is entrusted with the public trust, hate has no place.”

Illinois has made efforts to slow the spread of hate by increasing educational opportunities. But more than just education is needed to slow this historic spike.

“It is just critical to begin to continue and to move forward with creating understanding,” Sage added.

The state committed 20 million dollars in its most recent budget to help with security for Jewish people in the state. It was something that the Jewish Caucus really fought for during the budget negotiation.