Anti-Jewish Acts Rise in ’15, ADL Says

Anti-Jewish Acts Rise in ’15, ADL Says

Michael Jacobs

Atlanta Jewish Times Editor Michael Jacobs is on his second stint leading the AJT's editorial operations. He previously served as managing editor from 2005 to 2008.

Anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses almost doubled, and anti-Semitic assaults increased by more than 50 percent in 2015, the Anti-Defamation League reported Wednesday, June 22.

None of the violence occurred in Georgia, which did see an increase from 13 incidents in 2014 — 12 cases of “harassment, threats, events” and one act of vandalism (the painting of swastikas at Emory University) — to 16 in 2015.

Three of the Georgia incidents in 2015 were vandalism; the rest, including a threatening voicemail left on the phone system at Congregation Gesher L’Torah in Alpharetta in February 2015, were in the harassment, threats, events category.

While the percentages in Georgia aren’t meaningful because of the low number of incidents, the state did see the total more than double from seven incidents in 2013.

Overall, the annual ADL Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents shows a 3 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents nationwide to 941 in 2015 from 912 in 2014. Most of those incidents (508) were classified as harassment, threats, events, while 377 were incidents of vandalism.

The other 56 incidents were assaults, up from 36 assaults in 2014.

“We are disturbed that violent anti-Semitic incidents are rising,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said. “And we know that for every incident reported, there’s likely another that goes unreported. So even as the total incidents have remained statistically steady from year to year, the trend toward anti-Semitic violence is very concerning.”

ADL reported 90 anti-Semitic acts on college campuses nationwide in 2015, compared with 47 the year before. But Greenblatt such incidents remain rare, and most Jewish students feel safe on campus.

The long-term national trend remains positive, ADL said. The number of incidents remained fewer than 1,000 last year, less than two-thirds the peak of 1,554 hit in 2006. ADL has issued the national anti-Semitism audit each year since 1979.

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