BOSTON – New data released last month by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) shows that the number of anti-Semitic incidents remains significantly higher in 2017 compared to 2016. ADL, in its latest Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, reports that from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30 there were 132 anti-Semitic incidents reported in New England, including harassment, vandalism, school incidents, and threats made against Jewish institutions. This represents a 32 percent increase over the same period in 2016 and exceeds last year’s total.
According to the ADL, 117 of the 132 total incidents occurred in Massachusetts, a 44 percent increase from last year. Fifty-eight Massachusetts towns experienced anti-Semitism this year, impacting thousands of people. Of the incidents reported, there has been a disturbingly high number of anti-Semitic incidents in K-12 schools and college campuses. So far in 2017 in Massachusetts, there have been 53 anti-Semitic incidents occurring in K-12 schools, an over 60 percent increase as compared to the same period in 2016, which saw only 33 incidents.
“Anti-Semitism is sadly becoming a daily reality for thousands of Massachusetts residents. When hate hits 58 cities and towns, all of us have a responsibility to step up and take action,” said ADL New England Regional Director Robert Trestan. “The dramatic surge in incidents underscores the pressing need for increased anti-bias education programming in schools. As bigotry continues to seep into everyday life it is critical that we focus our efforts on the youngest members of the community. None of us can afford to stand idly by.”