Sunday marks the first night of Hanukkah, a holiday celebrating survival. Following months of anti-Semitic acts throughout the nation, the local Jewish community says that message is more meaningful than ever.

Sunday marks the first night of Hanukkah, a holiday celebrating survival.

Following months of anti-Semitic acts throughout the nation, the local Jewish community says that message is more meaningful than ever.

“The lights symbolize good people against those who want to destroy us,” said Rabbi Leonardo Bitran, with Temple Beth El.

In the last six months, swastikas have been found at Nazareth College, Eastman School of Music and Harris Whalen Park in Penfield.

Anti-Semitic flyers were found on the University of Rochester. White supremacist stickers were also found in Pittsford & Brighton.

”Those who try to destroy us in our house of worship will not succeed and we will continue celebrating our holidays,” said the senior Rabbi in response to the acts of hate.

Last month a gunman opened fire in a Pittsburgh synagogue killing 11 and wounding several others. The incident has strengthened security throughout Jewish temples nationwide including Temple Beth El.

“We need to remain steady in our security,” said the Rabbi.