By Aubree Abril

WASHINGTON – Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, joined seven colleagues in Congress Tuesday to launch a Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism.

She joined Reps. Chris Smith, R-NJ, Nita Lowey, D-NY, Eliot Engel, D-NY, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., Steve Israel, D-NY, Peter Roskam, R-Ill., and Ted Deutch, D-Fla.

The eight House members will serve as co-chairs of the task force formed to address the rise of anti-Semitism around the world.

“Jewish populations are facing increased levels of hatred, frequently under the guise of political differences of other alibis, but in reality it is solely because of their faith,” the co-chairs said in a joint statement.

The task force plans to educate members and explore ways to teach tolerance and confront hate.

“It is the responsibility of everyone who believes in basic universal liberties and freedoms to condemn this trend and work together to root out the hatred which underlies anti-Semitism,” the co-chairs said. “We look forward to working with our colleagues in Congress to find innovative solutions that match the 21st century face of the age-old bigotry.”

Former Dallas Rep-Martin Frost was the first Jewish congressman to serve in a House leadership post. He served as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus from 1999-2003.