New ADL Study Reveals 63 Percent of US Jews Have Experienced or Witnessed Antisemitic Incident
Nearly two-thirds of American Jews have either experienced or witnessed an antisemitic incident in the last five years, according to a new study published on Wednesday by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
The ADL’s 2021 poll found that 63 percent of respondents had either experienced or heard antisemitic comments, slurs or threats targeting others — an increase from 54 percent on the same survey in 2020.
Nine percent of Jewish Americans indicated in the survey they had been physically attacked in the last five years because they are Jewish, up slightly from 2020, while 25 percent reported having been directly targeted by antisemitic comments slurs or threats themselves.
Other sobering data unveiled by the ADL study showed that the internet is an increasingly hostile environment for Jews. In the 2021 poll, 36 percent of respondents said they had experienced some form of online harassment. Meanwhile, 31 percent said they have been called offensive names online, and 13 percent said they have been physically threatened.
American Jews also have a keen sense of growing insecurity. Forty-nine percent reported being afraid of a violent attack at a synagogue, while 59 percent of respondents said they felt less safe in the US now than a decade ago.
The ADL study observed as well that “antisemitic harassment comes at a cost.” It noted that 33 percent of respondents who have been harassed reported having trouble sleeping, while 16 percent said the harassment affected their lives financially.
Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL’s CEO, commented that the study’s findings “reinforce the need for a whole-of-society approach to combat antisemitism.”
“Whether it appears on social media or on a synagogue, antisemitism has no place in our communities,” Greenblatt said in a statement on Wednesday. “We need corporate and government leaders to step up to ensure that it does not gain a foothold on social media or in broader society.”