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New ADL survey: Nearly one in 10 Jews physically attacked over the last five years

Nearly 10% of Jews surveyed said they had been physically attacked in the last five years because they were Jewish, said the Anti-Defamation League in a report published Wednesday.

That number appears to be up this year from last year’s 5%, but the increase is within the margin of error of 4.4% reported by the firm behind the survey, YouGov, which collected 503 responses from Jewish Americans in early January.

More than half of the Jewish Americans surveyed said they felt less safe in the U.S. than they did a decade ago, and more than half either witnessed or experienced antisemitism during the past five years.

“Looking back on the past five years, which were bookended by the antisemitism in Charlottesville in 2017 and the hateful symbols on display during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, it is understandable that the level of anxiety is rising and concerns about communal safety are on everyone’s minds,” said the head of the ADL, Jonathan Greenblatt, in a statement.


Courtesy of The Anti-Defamation League

The percentage of Jews who experienced online harassment was largely unchanged from last year, but fewer respondents said they contacted online platforms with concerns — 29% in 2021 compared to 43% in 2020. The ADL said the change “may reflect some resignation” to report issues because of “tech companies’ perceived lack of responsiveness to complaints.”

Companies like Facebook faced public scrutiny over the last year regarding the enforcement of policies meant to curb ills like Holocaust denial and election-related disinformation.

The report noted that slightly fewer participants said they were afraid of a violent attack at a synagogue in the 2021 survey than in the previous year. The 2020 survey was conducted shortly after instances of antisemitic violence in Monsey, New York and Jersey City, New Jersey.

Molly Boigon is an investigative reporter at the Forward. Contact her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @MollyBoigon.


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