Anti-Semitic incidents hit record high in US; over 3,600 documented by rights group in 2022

People participate in a Jewish solidarity march on January 5, 2020, in New York City. The march was held in response to a recent rise in anti-Semitic crimes in the greater New York metropolitan area.
People participate in a Jewish solidarity march on January 5, 2020, in New York City. The march was held in response to a recent rise in anti-Semitic crimes in the greater New York metropolitan area. | Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

A leading Jewish advocacy group documented a dramatic increase in anti-Semitic incidents in 2022, recording a 36% increase from the previous year and the highest number of anti-Semitic incidents in one year since it began tracking data in 1979. 

The Anti-Defamation League, which tracks anti-Semitic violence or harassment against Jews in the United States, released its annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents last Wednesday. According to the report, the ADL documented 3,697 anti-Semitic incidents in the United States in 2022, a 36% increase from last year. 

The audit tracks "criminal and non-criminal incidents of harassment, vandalism and assault against individuals and groups as reported to ADL by victims, law enforcement, the media and partner organizations."

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According to the report, cases of anti-Semitic harassment increased by 29% (2,298), vandalism increased by 51% (1,288) and anti-Semitic assaults increased by 26% (111). Orthodox Jews were the target of 53% of anti-Semitic assault incidents nationally. 

While the report found that no assaults resulted in mass casualties, the organization notes that at least one fatality did happen. In 107 of the 111 assault cases documented, attacks were conducted without the use of a deadly weapon. 

Serene Hudson, vice president of advocacy at Passages, an organization that facilitates trips for Christian students to the Holy Land, cited a January ADL report which found beliefs in anti-Jewish tropes have grown and basic knowledge about the Holocaust has declined.

"Passages is committed to continue standing by the Jewish people," she told The Christian Post in a Monday statement. "This is an alarming moment for American Jews, who must think about increasing security for Jewish institutions or the safety of wearing a kippah or the Star of David in public." 

Hudson asserted that America has become "increasingly unsafe" for Jewish people. She urges Christians and others to "advocate boldly for the well-being and safety of the Jewish community." 

"In order to stem the tide of antisemitic perceptions, we must educate the Church on the dark legacy of Christian antisemitism and Holocaust history and forge allyships with Jewish communities," she stated.

"To do this, Passages trains young leaders to confront antisemitism within their spheres of influence. Finally, we can make connections so that genuine friendship between Christian and Jewish people can counteract negative stereotypes, and we encourage Christians to advocate boldly for the wellbeing and safety of the Jewish community."

Anti-semitic incidents occurred in all 50 states, but the areas with the highest numbers were New York (580), California (518), New Jersey (408), Florida (269) and Texas (211). These states account for 54% of the total incidents, according to the ADL. 

Two-hundred and forty-one anti-Semitic incidents involved references to Israel or Zionism, a decline from 2021, when it accounted for 345 such incidents. However, 589 incidents occurred at Jewish institutions, such as synagogues, Jewish community centers or schools, a 12% increase from 2021.

Most of the incidents at Jewish institutions consisted of harassment, but the ADL recorded 86 incidents of vandalism and nine assaults. Ninety-one bomb threats were made against Jewish institutions, the highest recorded since 2017. 

In 2022, 494 incidents happened at non-Jewish K-12 schools, an increase of 49% from 2021. At least 219 incidents occurred on college campuses, an increase of 41%.  

"The dramatic increase in antisemitic incidents in 2022 in almost all categories cannot be attributed to any one cause or ideology," the report reads. However, ADL noted an increase in activity from white supremacists.

"Known white supremacist networks engaged in coordinated efforts to spread antisemitic propaganda, which accounted for 852 incidents in 2022, more than double the 422 incidents in 2021," the report continued.

"If white supremacist activity had remained the same in 2022 as in 2021, the Audit total would have been 3,267 – an increase of 20%, rather than the actual increase of 36%." 

In 2021, ADL documented 2,717 anti-Semitic incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism.

According to a survey released last month by the advocacy group the American Jewish Committee, 82% of American Jews agreed that anti-Semitism in the United States increased in the last five years. Forty-three percent of American Jews said anti-Semitism increased significantly, and 39% said it increased somewhat. 

Sixteen percent of respondents said that anti-Semitism in the United States remained the same, and only 2% said that they believe it has decreased within the last five years. 

As for the general public, 47% of respondents agreed that anti-Semitism in the U.S. has increased within the last five years, while 15% said it decreased. Twenty-six percent said it stayed the same, and 13% said they were unsure.

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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