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Anti-Semitism Remained High in New Jersey in 2020 Despite Lockdown, ADL Report Shows

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There were 295 incidents in the Garden State in 2020, down from 345 in 2019 but still the third-highest rate on record, despite the pandemic, according to the ADL.

Anti-Semitism in New Jersey has been on the rise, even during the pandemic.

The Anti-Defamation League’s annual report shows that the state saw its third-highest number of anti-Semitic incidents last year -- during a lockdown.

Scott Richman, the regional director for the New York and New Jersey Region of the ADL, said things may have been even worse if people weren’t confined.

“January and February were very high,” he said, “and what that tells me is that had Covid not happened likely 2020 would have been another record-setting year surpassing 2019.”

In the first quarter of 2020, incidents rose 85% from the 2019 quarter. After the lockdown there was a 33% drop in incidents for the rest of the year.

There were 295 incidents in the Garden State in 2020, down from 345 in 2019 but still the third-highest rate on record, despite the pandemic.

Richman said the numbers probably aren’t even telling the real story.

“Eighty-five percent of law enforcement agencies did not report a single hate crime last year and we know that that’s underreporting,” he said. “There are some cities with over 100,000 people that reported not a single hate crime.”

Richman said the 2020 report has a new category for incidents related to Covid.

“Unfortunately, especially early on, Jews were accused of not bringing the disease to the US, although that was a small piece of it, but spreading the disease, especially Hasidic Jews,” he said.

Ocean County, which has a large Hasidic population, saw the most incidents -- 51.