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ADL Audit: Anti-Semitic Incidents Declined 19 Percent Across the United States in 2013; Assaults Against Jews on Rise

NEW YORK, April 1, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The total number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States fell by 19 percent in 2013, continuing a decade-long downward slide and marking one of the lowest levels of incidents reported by the Anti-Defamation League since it started keeping records in 1979.

ADL's annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, released today, reported a total of 751 incidents across the U.S. during the 2013 calendar year, representing a 19 percent decline from the 927 incidents reported during the same period in 2012.  In 2013, anti-Semitic incidents were reported in 41 states and the District of Columbia.

"In the last decade we have witnessed a significant and encouraging decline in the number and intensity of anti-Semitic acts in America," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  "The falling number of incidents targeting Jews is another indication of just how far we have come in finding full acceptance in society, and it is a reflection of how much progress our country has made in shunning bigotry and hatred."

The annual ADL Audit includes incidents of assault, vandalism and harassment targeting Jews and Jewish property and institutions and includes both criminal and non-criminal incidents reported to ADL's 27 regional offices across the country and to law enforcement.

While the total number of anti-Semitic incidents declined overall, one dark spot in the numbers was a significant increase in violent anti-Semitic assaults.  The Audit recorded a total of 31 anti-Semitic assaults on Jewish individuals or those perceived as Jewish in 2013, up from 17 in 2012. 

The reported assaults included: An unprovoked attack on a 24-year-old Jewish man wearing a yarmulke by four men in Brooklyn, NY; an assault of a 12-year-old Jewish girl who had a bottle thrown at her by a group of girls, including one who yelled, "You dirty Jew"; and the attack of a Jewish man in Los Angeles, CA, who was surrounded by five male suspects who yelled "Heil Hitler!" before striking him.

None of the assaults was life threatening or required hospitalization.

"The high number of violent in-your-face assaults is a sobering reminder that, despite the overall decline in anti-Semitic incidents, there is still a subset of Americans who are deeply infected with anti-Semitism and who feel emboldened enough to act out their bigotry," said Mr. Foxman. "Such incidents are often among the most traumatic for individuals as they involve person-on-person violence." 

ADL has conducted the Audit annually in the U.S. since 1979.

In recent years, the ADL Audit has placed anti-Jewish incidents into one of three categories: assault, vandalism or harassment.  In 2013 the numbers broke down as follows:

  • Assaults: 31 incidents reported in 2013, compared with 17 in 2012;
  • Vandalism: 315 incidents in 2013, compared with 440 in 2012;
  • Harassment, threats and events: 405 incidents in 2013, compared with 470 in 2012.

"We must remember that there are people behind every one of these numbers, and every incident represents one person or an entire community affected by the trauma of anti-Semitism," said Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL National Chair. "Every swastika scrawled on a school or rally held by a racist group demands a response -- by law enforcement, by the community, and by public officials -- to ensure that we reinforce the message that anti-Semitism is unacceptable in society."

State-By-State Totals

While the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. decreased in 2013, ADL recorded increases in some states when compared with 2012 figures, such as in Connecticut, Michigan, Ohio and Texas. Additionally, continuing a consistent trend for many years, the states with the highest totals were those with large Jewish populations.  Once again, New York and California, while each experiencing declines compared to the previous year, topped the list:

  • New York State, with 203 incidents in 2013, down from 245 in 2012;
  • California, with 143 incidents, down from 185;
  • New Jersey, with 78 incidents, down from 173;
  • Florida, with 68 incidents, down from 88;
  • Massachusetts, with 46 incidents, up from 38;
  • Pennsylvania, with 43 incidents, up from 37.

A full listing of state-by-state figures is available on the League's web site.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.  Follow us on Twitter: @ADL_News

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SOURCE Anti-Defamation League

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