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American Jewish Committee New Jersey Says Numbers Show Sharp Rise in Anti-Semitism in 2021

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There were more than 250 cases of harassment, more than 110 reports of vandalism, and 6 assaults

The number of anti-Semitic incidents in New Jersey rose by 25% last year — the highest percentage recorded by the Anti-Defamation League since it began keeping track in 1979.

Rabbi David Levy of the American Jewish Committee New Jersey said the challenge is getting everyone to see how bad the situation is.

“Well over 80% of the Jewish community feels that anti-Semitism has been rising in the last five years whereas only just under 40% of the general public feels that way, which means we have a lot of education to do,” he said.

Anti-Semitic incidents were reported in 19 of New Jersey’s 21 counties in 2021, according to the ADL, with the highest numbers in Bergen and Ocean counties.

Statewide in 2021, there were 252 cases of harassment, 112 reports of vandalism and 6 alleged assaults.

“We know that 1 in 4 Jews (in the US) reports having been impacted by anti-Semitism in the past year, meaning that they either experienced anti-Semitism online, or verbally, or even physically," said Levy.

The Anti-Defamation League reports at least 7 Jewish institutions in New Jersey were vandalized last year with the display of a swastika.

Levy said the most important thing we all can do is call it out when we encounter anti-Semitism.

“We always talk about, ‘See something, Say something,’ but the reality is we are often in situations, social situations, public situations, where someone says something and maybe in our gut we know it’s wrong, we know it’s hateful, but we don’t want to get involved, and the reality is we need to get involved,” he said.

Janice Kirkel is a lifelong award-winning journalist who has done everything from network newscasts to national and local sports reports to business newscasts to specialized reporting and editing in technical areas of business and finance such as bankruptcy, capital structure changes and reporting on the business of the investment business.