On April 30, 2019 the ADL released its annual Audit of Anti-Semitic incidents (https://www.adl.org/audit2018).
This year's audit recorded a total of 1,879 attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions across the country in 2018, the third-highest year on record since ADL started tracking such data in the 1970s.
The ADL Audit classifies all documented incidents into three categories: assault, harassment and vandalism. Reflected in the Washington D.C. regional data (which includes Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, DC) is a significant shift away from acts of vandalism towards incidents of harassment and assault, including the first recorded/documented assaults motivated by anti-Semitism in the region in recent years.
State-by-state breakdown for our region:
Maryland: 39 total incidents (Assault: 1, Harassment: 32, Vandalism: 6), an 11% increase from 2017, when there were 35 total incidents (Assault: 0, Harassment: 15, Vandalism: 20)
North Carolina: 34 total incidents (Assault: 1, Harassment: 24, Vandalism: 9), a 113% increase from 2017, when there were 16 Total Incidents (Assault: 0, Harassment: 10, Vandalism: 6)
Virginia: 31 total incidents (Assault: 0, Harassment: 20, Vandalism: 11), a 9% decrease from 2017, when there were 34 total incidents (Assault: 0, Harassment: 18, Vandalism 16)
Washington, DC: 31 total incidents (Assault: 0, Harassment: 28, Vandalism: 3), a 3% decrease from 2017, when there were 32 total incidents (Assault: 0, Harassment: 19, Vandalism: 13)
“We are deeply concerned by the interpersonal nature of the anti-Semitic incidents in our region, whether perpetrated by classmates, neighbors, or strangers, we cannot allow this bigotry to be normalized in our communities” said Doron F. Ezickson, ADL Washington D.C. Regional Director. “Our programs and efforts with community partners, local schools and universities, and law enforcement are a vital first step to confronting the challenges of anti-Semitism and all forms of hate. These and other efforts have helped strengthen communities against the impacts of bias and bigotry. But we all have a responsibility to remain vigilant and to realize in our own lives and social interactions the values and principles we want our society to demonstrate.”
In a year marked by the white supremacist shooting spree at a Pittsburgh synagogue, which claimed 11 lives, and punctuated by a dramatic surge in white supremacist propaganda activity nationwide, ADL’s Audit identified 59 people across the country who were victims of anti-Semitic assaults in 2018, up from 21 in 2017. While the overall number of incidents represents a 5 percent decline from 1,986 incidents reported in 2017, the number of incidents last year remained at near-historic levels – 48 percent higher than the total for 2016 and 99 percent higher than in 2015.
“We’ve worked hard to push back against anti-Semitism, and succeeded in improving hate crime laws, and yet we continue to experience an alarmingly high number of anti-Semitic acts,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director. “We unfortunately saw this trend continue into 2019 with the tragic shooting at the Chabad synagogue in Poway. It’s clear we must remain vigilant in working to counter the threat of violent anti-Semitism and denounce it in all forms, wherever the source and regardless of the political affiliation of its proponents.” All but four states experienced anti-Semitic incidents. In addition to the October mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, 2018 saw high levels of white supremacist activity, including propaganda on college campuses and in communities, and hateful robocalls aimed at voters.
Of the total incidents reported nation-wide in 2018:
Assaults: 39 incidents, marking an increase of 105 percent from the 19 incidents reported in 2017. Those incidents affected 59 victims, up from 21 in 2017, and including the 11 fatalities and two injured congregants in Pittsburgh.
Harassment: 1,066 incidents of anti-Semitic harassment were reported to ADL last year, a 5 percent increase from 1,015 in 2017, and a 48 percent increase from 721 in 2016.
Vandalism: 774 incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism were recorded in 2018, down 19 percent from 952 in 2017, but up 52 percent from 510 in 2016.