MEMBERS of Bury’s Jewish community had items thrown at them and skullcaps snatched from their heads as they were targeted in anti-Semitic attacks last year, a Jewish charity has reported.

They were also subject to criminal and anti-social behaviour as Bury witnessed more recorded anti-Semitic hate crime than any other Greater Manchester borough.

The shocking revelations follow the publication of the Community Security Trust's (CST) annual report which found that anti-Semitic attacks have increased across the UK.

In a joint statement Councillor Jane Black, of St. Mary’s ward, and Councillor Richard Gold, of Sedgley ward, said they were deeply concerned by the CST report, and noted that Bury is home to the largest and fastest growing Jewish community outside London.

They added: “As Jewish Bury councillors, we are part of the thriving Jewish life and community in our borough.

“However we know problems of anti-Semitism do occur, whether motivated by anti-Semitic politics, or criminal and anti-social behaviour which has an aggravating anti-Semitic element to it.

“Anti-Semitism in any form has no place in Bury and must be challenged.

“Just one incident of anti-Semitism is one too many, and the community needs to know that local councillors will support them and help in any way they can.

“This council will continue to work with the Jewish community, police and the CST in the fight against anti-Semitism.”

An unprecedented 1,805 anti-Semitic attacks were recorded in the UK last year, including online and on social media as well violent assaults and damage and desecration to Jewish property.

Almost two thirds of these anti-Semitic incidents were recorded in Greater Manchester and Greater London ­— although anti-Semitic incidents in the region did fall from the previous year.

Michael Rubinstein, chairman of the Anti-Semitism, Racism and Human Rights Committee of the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester, said he believed the increase in anti-Semitic incidents could be traced to a number of factors, in particular discussions of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and increased “anger” raised by Brexit and by borough’s like Bury feeling that they have been “left behind”.

He said: “It is terrible that there even needs to be a report like this from the CST and that there is still racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism and all these horrible things in the 21st century.

“After what the world has been through, after the Holocaust, Apartheid, the Rwandan genocide, people have seen what racism can lead to and we still have it.”

“What people need to learn is respect for other people and that we are all human beings together.”

Such is the concern about anti-Semitism, Mr Rubinstein said, that security guards posted outside synagogues and Jewish schools are "facts of life" for some British Jews, while others will not attend communal events without security ­— an issue he says is also commonplace for other minority communities in the UK.

Further, although figures show incidences are increasing, anti-Semitism still remains massively under recorded, Mr Rubinstein added.

In one shocking incident, Philips Park Jewish Cemetery in Whitefield was targeted by vandals in February last year.

Thugs struck at the ohel, or prayer hall, and two other chapels, smashing the memorial stone of Rabbi Yehuda Zev Segal — a prominent member of Greater Manchester's Jewish community.

A CTS spokesman said: “Bury is home to a large, lively Jewish community that is well integrated and plays a full part in the life of the area.

"There are worrying instances of racism, including name calling and some violence, but at CST we work with Police, local Government and the entire Jewish community, to try and ensure that everyone is confident to go about their business as they choose.”

Hate crime incidents can be reported to police either via the LiveChat function on the GMP website, through 101 or using the True Vision website

Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 and call police on 999 in an emergency.