Anything from a slur to a terror attack can be included in the tally. For the second straight year, 2021 thankfully saw no fatal incidents tied to antisemitism in the United States, but the ADL counted 88 antisemitic assaults, a 167% increase from the 33 assaults in the 2020.
The ADL also documented 297 incidents linked to the May 2021 round of deadly clashes between Israel and Hamas, many of which made national headlines at the time. “Jews were being attacked in the streets for no other reason than the fact that they were Jewish, and it seemed as if the working assumption was that if you were Jewish, you were blameworthy for what was happening half a world away,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement.
More than any single factor, Greenblatt said the overall increase in antisemitic incidents can be linked to political instability and polarization.
It is important to note that this year, the ADL included reports from six other organizations: the Community Security Initiative, Community Security Service, Hillel International, Secure Community Network, Union of Reform Judaism, and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. These groups were responsible for identifying 494 incidents, or 18% of the total.
The report includes several policy recommendations, including encouraging civic leaders to speak out against antisemitism and hatred, increased government funding for security at Jewish institutions, hate crime and anti-bullying training for law enforcement and students, and improvements to the collection of hate crime data.
Almost eight decades have passed since the concentration camps were liberated, but the scourge of antisemitism remains with us. We must remember and ensure that others do not forget. We pledge “Never Again.”
In addition, the American Jewish Committee released multiple surveys on American and Israeli Jewish millennials. The surveys “highlight the perspectives, attitudes, and opinions of Millennial American and Israeli Jews. The surveys' results provide a richer understanding of the social, cultural, religious, and identity implications for the Millennial demographic – and the Jewish community as a whole – and highlight the commonalities and differences of young adults in each region.”
The surveys of U.S. and Israeli Jewish millennials found that most of the American respondents feel a connection to Israel is important to their Jewish identity, and most Israeli respondents want a closer connection with American Jews. Here are some other key points that should make us think more about future generations:
- 54% of American Jewish Millennials (AJM) feel being connected to Israel is important to their Jewish identity.
- 73% of AJMs and 89% of Israeli Jewish Millennials (IJM) feel it is important that the American Jewish Community and Israel maintain close ties.
- 80% of AJMs and 69% of IJMs feel a strong Jewish community outside of Israel is necessary to the survival of Israel.
- 54% of AJMs feel it is appropriate for American Jews to try to influence Israeli policy while 70% of IJMs feel it is inappropriate.
- 52% of AJMs believe there is a viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while 29% are unsure. Only 24% of IJMs feel there is a viable solution with 20% unsure.
Unsure if these results are surprising, but important for us to understand as we continue to explore Israel-Diaspora relations. You can read the survey results here.
On May 4th we will commemorate Israel's fallen with Yom HaZikaron, and on May 5th we will celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut and Israel’s 74th birthday. Our community’s celebration will take place this Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center with great Israeli food (for purchase) and an incredible free concert starting at 1:00 p.m. with the premier Israeli music cover band, TLV!