Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus had been hearing from people of faith since Saturday's mass shooting in Pittsburgh, leading him and other community leaders to hold a unity rally against hate.
"I've been getting lots of calls from religious organizations around Orange County," Neuhaus said. "They're scared. They're concerned."
About 100 people showed up to hear Neuhaus and others speak about a severe need for sensitivity and understanding.
They want to prevent hate like what Rabbi Meir Borenstein said recently happened to one of the students at the Chabad of Orange County Hebrew school.
"A car pulled up next to him, rolled down the window, and [the driver] started telling him things about the Nazis and how they didn't finish the job," Rabbi Borenstein said. "...The lack of education is terrible."
Before the rally, Spectrum News caught up with Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler, who recently began a campaign against the "learned behaviors" of anti-semitism and other forms of hate.
Hoovler said he started his multifaceted ground-up education program after investigating a recent cemetery desecration in Warwick. He said during the investigation, he met numerous young adults who have poor understandings of history and culture.
"They simply did not understand the gravity of their actions, and some didn't even understand the history of the Holocaust," Hoovler said in an interview outside his office. "It happens at our sporting events. It happens in our schools. It happens in our own homes. And people don't stand up and say that it's wrong. That's why we started the program."
Aside from creating literature that goes through the basics on hate speech and hate crimes, Hoovler also plans to train officers and teachers on how to recognize and investigate hate crimes, he assigned a senior prosecutor to hate crime cases and he started a hate crime hotline.
"If you allow it to happen all the time and it becomes the norm," Hoovler explained. "Then when it happens, you think it's normal when it shouldn't be normal."
Hoovler hopes people in the area catch on quickly. According to the Anti-Defamation League, 380 anti-semitic hate crimes happened in New York State in 2017, a 90 percent jump from the previous year, making New York the nation's leader in this category.
"It is incumbent on each and every one of us, if we don't want these things to repeat themselves, [to know] it's not just elected officials who have to do their part. They will do their part. But we have to take action. Today, it's at a synagogue. Tomorrow, it could be somewhere else."