Antisemitism hit a new all-time high in the US in 2019 and continued on an upward trajectory for the sixth straight year, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s annual report.
Physical assaults against Jews rose 56% compared with 2018, which had twice as many as in 2017.
In total, there were 2,107 incidents of antisemitism in 2019, a 12% rise over the 1,879 in 2018, which was the second highest on record this century after the 1,986 recorded in 2017.
The number of antisemitic incidents in 2019, which includes acts of assault, vandalism and harassment, eclipsed figures for both those years.
The year witnessed several hate-inspired murders of US Jews, including the shooting attack on haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews in Jersey City, New Jersey, in December in which four people were killed, and a brutal stabbing attack in Monsey, New York, in the same month in which one man eventually died from his wounds and four were wounded.
In April 2019, one woman was killed in a shooting attack at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in San Diego.
The spate of antisemitic harassment and assault also continued in Jewish neighborhoods of New York City, including Borough Park, Crown Heights and Williamsburg.
New York State recorded 430 antisemitic incidents in 2019, the highest of any state, followed by New Jersey with 345, California with 330, Massachusetts with 114 and Pennsylvania with 109.
According to the ADL’s annual report, there were 61 incidents of assault in 2019, compared with 39 in 2018 and 19 in 2017.
Eleven of the 61 assaults were perpetrated with deadly weapons, such as guns or knives. The 61 assault incidents harmed 95 victims, including five fatalities.
There were 1,127 incidents of harassment, where one or more Jews reported feeling harassed by antisemitic language or actions. There were 919 incidents of vandalism, including the daubing of swastikas on property in 746 of them.
The ADL said 270 antisemitic incidents in 2019 were attributed to known extremist groups or individuals inspired by extremist ideology, representing 13% of the total number of incidents.
“This was a year of unprecedented antisemitic activity, a time when many Jewish communities across the country had direct encounters with hate,” ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said. “This contributed to a rising climate of anxiety and fear in our communities. We are committed to fighting back against this rising tide of hate and will double down on our work with elected leaders, schools and communities to end the cycle of hatred.”
It is crucial to “remain vigilant in working to counter the threat of violent antisemitism and denounce it in all forms, wherever the source and regardless of the political affiliation of its proponents,” he said.
There is a need to ensure that synagogues and Jewish community centers have the right security measures in place to prevent violent attacks, Greenblatt said, adding that the ADL would lobby Congress and other elected officials this year to ensure funding for security measures is obtained and that all states mandate Holocaust education, “which can serve as an effective deterrent for future acts of hate.”