Report shows antisemitic incidents in US hit all-time high; Pa. seeing four times as many cases

Annie McCormick Image
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Report reveals rise of antisemitic incidents in the Delaware Valley
Report shows antisemitic incidents in US hit all-time high; Pa. seeing four times as many cases

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Anti-Defamation League tracked 8,873 antisemitic incidents in the United States in 2023 - the highest number of incidents reported since the organization began tracking data in 1979, according to the organization's annual audit of antisemitism released Tuesday.

Last year, the number of antisemitic incidents outpaced the all-time high set in 2022 by 140%, the Jewish civil rights advocacy group said.

The more than 8,800 incidents of antisemitism tracked by the group included harassment, vandalism and assault is a dramatic increase from the nearly 3,700 cases reported in 2022.

The majority of the incidents documented by the ADL - 6,535 - were cases of harassment, which the group describes as instances when either one or more Jewish people, or people perceived as Jewish, are harassed with antisemitic slurs, stereotypes or conspiracy theories. This category includes online and in-person incidents. The group also tracked 2,177 cases of vandalism and 161 assault incidents.

The audit shows there was a dramatic upward trend of incidents after the start of the Israel-Hamas war. Between October 7 and December 31, there were 5,204 incidents, according to the audit.

"Clearly we see a significant rise, a significant increase. We need everybody to fight back on," said Andrew Goretsky, the regional director for the ADL.

"We're very concerned in the rise in physical violence from this rhetoric," he added.

In the Delaware Valley, the rise in incidents includes assault, harassment and vandalism. Pennsylvania is seeing four times as many incidents. In New Jersey, it's nearly double, with the Garden State ranking number one in the country for incidents per capita.

These numbers do not include any speech at anti-Israel rallies.

There is also an increase in incidents on college campuses -- more than two and a half times more than in 2022.

Just two weeks ago, Drexel University responded to vandalism at the Raymond G. Perelman Center for Jewish Life.

Penn was one of several universities called to testify before Congress over its handling of antisemitic incidents.

"We saw a significant rise in bomb threats both nationally and locally," said Goretsky.

"We have to recognize there's a problem," said Michael Balaban of The Jewish Federation Greater Philadelphia.

He said his organization has received bomb threats in recent days. They have increased security across area institutions and synagogues.

"We've increased the number of people at institutions, armed guards, security cameras. We've increased the number of deputies we work with," added Balaban.

You can read the entire report here.

Both organizations say there needs to be more inclusion of Jewish studies, including what is antisemitism in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training.

Additionally, the ADL is calling on all states to have an antisemitism task force.

Balaban said there also needs to be stronger anti-hate laws.