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Anti-Semitism in the United States: ADL Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents in 2011

(Updated October 2012)

The Anti-Defamation League's annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents recorded 1,080 anti-Semitic incidents across the United States in 2011, a 13% decrease from the 2010 figure of 1,239.

These included:

  • 19 physical assaults on Jewish individuals (down from 22 in 2010)
  • 731 cases of anti-Semitic harassment, threats and events (down from 900 in 2010)
  • 330 cases of anti-Semitic vandalism (up from 317 in 2010)

The 2011 number is the lowest of the ADL's recorded number of incidents in the past twenty years. "To the extent that these incidents serve as a barometer, the decline shows that we have made progress as a society in confronting anti-Semitism and pushing it to the far fringes, making expressions of anti-Jewish hatred unacceptable," ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said.

In spite of that steady encouraging decline, other factors are worrisome, to be sure. "These declining numbers, while promising, must nevertheless be viewed in the context of other factors, including online expressions of anti-Semitism that are impossible to quantify and often go unchecked," Foxman said.

School bullying remains prevalent across the country, incidents where Jewish students are harassed and intimidated by their peers' offensive anti-Semitic stereotypes or comments about the Nazis or the Holocaust. The ADL continues to receive disturbingly high levels of complaints about children, adolescnets, and teenagers participating in anti-Semitic behavior, both on and off school grounds. "These have included physical assaults, treats of violence, and verbal and written taunts," ADL National Chair Robert Sugarman said. These incidents show the need for comprehensive diversity and tolerance programming and a continuing emphasis on Holocuast education so students can comprehend that history and the consequences of unchecked hatred, prejudice, and bigotry, according to Sugarman.

Like its previous audits, the ADL's 2011 audit used data from its 30 regional offices and law enforcement agencies across the country. Additionally, the audit represents incidents recorded in 45 states and Washington, D.C.

Sources: Anti-Defamation League