Anti-Defamation League audit finds New York led nation in antisemitic crimes in 2021, assaults surged to all-time high

Anti-Defamation League audit finds New York led nation in antisemitic crimes in 2021, assaults surged to all-time high

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NEW YORK — A year-long review of antisemitic incidents found New York led the nation in hate crimes against Jewish people.

Assaults surged to an all-time high, according to the report, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported Tuesday.

The Anti-Defamation League, which tracks antisemitism, held a virtual news conference outlining the results of an audit of crimes against Jewish people in 2021 as pandemic restrictions came to an end.

“It’s despicable and disgraceful that it happens, and there’s not enough people in authority calling it out,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.

Last year, there were 416 incidents in New York City, a 24 percent increase over 2020. Fifty-one incidents were assaults – the most ever recorded and a 325 percent rise over 2020.

“People beaten and brutalized in broad daylight, without any provocation, attacked for the crime of wearing a kippah,” Greenblatt said.

In April, surveillance in Williamsburg, Brooklyn captured a group attacking a 21-year-old Hassidic man wearing traditional clothing. In February, a 20-year-old Jewish man was punched in Midwood; the same suspect also tried to attack a 14-year-old.

The review found notable increases in:

  • Antisemitic harassment (183)
  • Vandalism (182)
  • Cases involving swastikas (161)

In New Jersey, antisemitic incidents last year spiked to 370 – a 25 percent increase from 2020.

Nationally, crimes against Jewish people reached a historic high of more than 2,700 – a 34 percent jump.

Data shows there was a steady decline in incidents from 2001 to 2016. The numbers spiked in 2016 and have been trending upward since.

“I think there’s a lot of ways people can help,” said Scott Richman, ADL NY/NJ regional director. “Each of us have a responsibility calling out hate and misinformation.”

The ADL said schools need to better educate students about bias.

“We need to see schools introduce anti-bias, anti-hate, Holocaust education content to their students, so we can inoculate our kids before intolerance takes hold,” Greenblatt said.

The ADL plans to work closely with law enforcement to track trends and aims to prevent antisemitic statements and behaviors from escalating into violent attacks.

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