The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) recorded the highest-ever number of antisemitic incidents across the United States. Of the 9741 incidents of extremism in 2022, 3697 were antisemitic included harassment, vandalism, and assaults. This is the third time in five years, the year-end total has been the highest number recorded. New Jersey ranked third in the Nation with 408 incidents, a 10% increase from 2021. Locally, Monmouth and Middlesex Counties saw a 43% increase from 2021 with 83 antisemitic incidents combined, respectively the 3rd and 4th highest levels in the State
Jewish Federation’s Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is addressing the situation through legislation, education, and security preparedness as pre-emptive measures. This includes, ensuring the subject of combating extremism in NJ remains a priority for law makers, assisting Jewish organizations in assessing security needs and applying for government grants, facilitating high level security training from public safety and law enforcement experts, and building relationships and forging alliances with religious and civic partners outside the Jewish community to help ensure that their needs are protected as well.
Recently, the 18 member JCRC committee met to discuss plans for 2024 and will focus on three areas:
- Unifying and strengthening the Jewish community by setting up a system of liaising with institutions to build bridges, discuss the mission of the JCRC, find partners with shared values, brief partners on the state of antisemitism and extremism, and be a resource on issues important to the Jewish community both at home and in Israel.
- Strengthening interfaith and interracial relationships, building on open communication and shared goals.
- Implementation of action items listed in The US National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism.* The committee selected 5 action items to take on in 2024:
- Call on state and local governments to support and work with local and regional Holocaust education centers and museums.
- Call on state and local governments to consider using materials published by Jewish organizations to help students identify antisemitic tropes, words, and symbols.
- Call on schools and colleges to treat antisemitism with the same seriousness as other forms of hate.
- Call on Jewish civil society to intensify their activities and efforts to combat hate, discrimination, and bias faced by other communities.
- Encourage non-Jewish faith leaders to educate their communities about both antisemitism and Jewish heritage, history, and culture.
* On May 25, 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration released the first-ever U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism. This strategy includes over 100 new actions and over 100 calls to action to combat antisemitism. For more information, click HERE.
Members of the community can get involved to help fight antisemitism and all hate:
- Make a gift to Jewish Federation’s annual campaign to support the efforts of the JCRC.
- Use the JCRC research page to empower yourself with knowledge.
- Report antisemitic incidents to Federation HERE.
- Talk to friends, family, colleagues, and young people about the consequences of antisemitism, extremism, and hate.
- Volunteer with the JCRC and help:
- Support JCRC efforts to combat bias and hate by building awareness and educating community members on the current levels of antisemitism and all hate.
- Communicate and work with local, state, and federal legislators to address concerns in respect to antisemitism, hate and bias and security.
- Facilitate conversations about issues affecting the Jewish and non-Jewish communities.
- Build relationships and forge alliances with groups outside the Jewish community to come together and promote tolerance, understanding and combat hate.