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Anti-Semitism in the United States: ADL Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents in 2015

(Updated June 2016)

The Anti-Defamation League's annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents recorded 941 anti-Semitic incidents across the United States in 2015, a 3% increase from the 912 incidents reported in 2014.

The 2015 incidents included:

  • 56 Anti-Semitic Assaults (up from 36 in 2014)
  • 90 Anti-Semitic incidents on 60 U.S. college campuses (up from 47 incidents on 43 campuses in 2014)
  • 508 cases of anti-Semitic harassment, threats and events (down from 513 in 2015)
  • 377 cases of anti-Semitic vandalism (up from 363 in 2014)

Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO of the ADL, observed that “Online hate is particularly disturbing because of the ubiquity of social media and its deep penetration into our daily lives, plus the anonymity offered by certain platforms which facilitates this phenomenon.” Although the number of total anti-Semitic incidents increased from 2014-2015, ADL National Chair Marvin D. Nathan offered encouraging words, stating that, “The good news is the number of anti-Semitic incidents overall are much lower than we witnessed in the mid-2000s.”

The Audit described an “explosion of hate online,” that occured in 2015, fueled by the relative anonymity that online forums provide. Leaders of the ADL noted that much of this online hate speech was driven by the election season, and was directed at journalists and various public figures.

In keeping with the recent trend, the states with the largest Jewish populations, New York and California, topped the list of states with the most anti-Semitic incidents. New York state experienced 198 incidents of anti-Semitism during 2015, down from 231 in 2014. In California 175 incidents were reported, decreasing from 184 in 2014.

The most notable change in the 2015 Audit is the dramatic increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses. During 2015 a total of 90 anti-Semitic incidents were reported on 60 college campuses across the United States, compared with 47 incidents reported on 43 college campuses in 2014. ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt clarified that, “despite the increase in anti-Semitic incidents on campus, such incidents are still relatively rare and the vast majority of Jewish students report feeling safe on their campuses. When such incidents do occur, they are generally condemned by administrators and the wider campus communities at their respective colleges.”

Sources: Anti-Defamation League