Two-thirds of US Jews believe they are less safe today than they were a decade ago, according to a new survey published on Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League.
The results of the study come following the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre in 2018, the Poway Synagogue shooting in April 2019, and the shootings and stabbings in Jersey City, New Jersey and Monsey, New York in December 2019.
In addition, 2019 bore witness to a massive wave of assault and harassment of Jews in New York City, particularly Brooklyn, and a general rise in antisemitism incidents across the US since 2015.
The ADL survey found that some 54 percent of American Jews have either experienced or witnessed an incident they believe was motivated by antisemitism. while 63% said they believed their communities to be “less safe” than they were ago.
Further findings showed that 22% of those polled are affiliated with a Jewish institution that has been vandalized, damaged or defaced because of antisemitism, while 14% know someone who has been physically attacked because they are Jewish.
Some 14 percent of US Jews have experienced antisemitic harassment online, and 50% of those surveyed said they were worried that a person wearing a yarmulke or other item identifying them as Jewish would be physically assaulted or verbally harassed in public.
Over a quarter of respondents said that they have used at least one strategy to avoid being targeted by antisemitic hate, with the most common strategy, employed by 12 percent of respondents being avoiding markers of Jewish identification, including not using one’s last name, or not wearing a Jewish star or identifying as Jewish on a social media site.
“Our tracking has shown that lethal and nonlethal antisemitic attacks have been on the rise in recent years, and now we’ve also found that American Jews are deeply concerned for their personal safety and their families’ and communities’ security in a way that they haven’t been in more than a decade,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director.
“It is a sad state of affairs that in the face of widespread anxiety about antisemitic attacks, some Jewish Americans are modifying their routines and avoiding public displays of Judaism to minimize the risk of being targeted.”
The survey, released as Jews observe Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, was conducted by YouGov which received 538 responses from January 17-30, 2020 and weighted to reflect the demographic makeup of Jews across the US, with a margin of error four percent.