NEW YORK, N.Y. — Following a consistent trend over the last several years, the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States remained constant in 2009, with a total of 1,239 incidents of assaults, vandalism and harassment reported during the calendar year, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
Connecticut tied with Colorado for seventh place among the states in the number of incidents reported. The state’s 38 incidents is up from 24 instances of vandalism and harassment reported in 2010.
The ADL Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, released today, found that the number of anti-Semitic incidents increased slightly in 2010, to a total of 1,239 incidents, compared to 1,211 incidents reported in 2009. It is the first increase reported by ADL since the numbers hit a record high in 2004, when the U.S. experienced 1,821 incidents of anti-Semitism. Since 2004, the total number of anti-Jewish incidents had declined incrementally each year.
The ADL Audit tracks incidents of vandalism, harassment and physical assaults against Jewish individuals, property and community institutions across the U.S., using reports and data gathered by the League’s 30 regional offices and law enforcement.
“While we have come a long way in society as Jews have been accepted into the mainstream, America is still not immune to anti-Semitism and bigotry,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director. “The good news is that we have continued to enjoy a period of relative calm, where the overall numbers are mostly unchanged and the incidents isolated. But the bad news is that for all our efforts to educate, to raise awareness and to legislate, anti-Jewish incidents remain a disturbing part of the American Jewish experience.”
The 2010 ADL Audit identified: 22 physical assaults on Jewish individuals (down from 29 in 2009); 900 cases of anti-Semitic harassment, threats and events (up from 760 in 2009); and 317 cases of anti-Semitic vandalism (down from 422 in 2009).
The 2010 Audit comprises data from 45 states and the District of Columbia, including official crime statistics as well as information provided to ADL’s regional offices by victims, law enforcement officers and community leaders and members. The Audit encompasses criminal acts, such as vandalism, violence and threats of violence, as well as non-criminal incidents of harassment and intimidation.
Continuing a longtime trend, the states with the highest totals were those with large Jewish populations. The top four states were California, with 297 incidents in 2010, up from 275 in 2009; New York, with 205 incidents, down from 209; New Jersey, with 130 incidents, down from 132; and Florida, with 116 incidents, up from 90.
According to the ADL Audit, in addition to Connecticut, other states with double-digit totals in 2010 include Massachusetts (64, up from 55 in 2009); Pennsylvania (42, down from 65 in 2009); Colorado (38, up from 14); and Texas (37, up from 28).
The Audit has never included the thousands of anti-Semitic events and expressions occurring in cyberspace, as it is virtually impossible to quantify.
“As a barometer of anti-Semitism in America, the Audit helps us to identify trends across the country and to take stock of how and where anti-Semitism is manifested,” said Robert G. Sugarman, ADL national chair. “This information helps us to work with law enforcement and others in cities and communities to address the problem of hatred of Jews.”
The Audit identifies both criminal and non-criminal acts of harassment and intimidation, including distribution of hate propaganda, threats and slurs. Compiled using official crime statistics, as well as information provided by victims, law enforcement officers and community leaders and evaluated by ADL’s professional staff, the Audit provides an annual snapshot of a nationwide problem while identifying possible trends or changes in the types of activity reported.
This information assists ADL in developing and enhancing its programs to counter and prevent the spread of anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry.