MA Milestones Newsmakers

Anti-Semitic Incidents Rise Dramatically in Massachusetts

BOSTON – In its latest Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reports that in 2017 there were 177 anti-Semitic incidents reported in Massachusetts, including harassment, vandalism, school incidents, and threats made against Jewish institutions. This represents a 42 percent increase over 2016.

Seventy-nine Massachusetts communities experienced anti-Semitism last year, representing 22.5 percent of the Commonwealth’s total 351 cities and towns, and impacting thousands of people. Nearly half (37) of the impacted communities reported multiple incidents, representing 10.5 percent of all cities and towns in Massachusetts. Of the incidents reported, a significant number occurred in K-12 schools. There were 93 reported incidents occurring in schools, an increase of over 86 percent compared to 2016, which saw 50 incidents.

“Record numbers of communities are being impacted by anti-Semitism as disseminating hate becomes increasingly mainstream, said ADL New England Regional Director Robert Trestan. “Every week Massachusetts schoolchildren are faced with antisemitism in school, jeopardizing safety and learning. School officials are rising above the toxic environment by taking incidents seriously and integrating anti-bias education into the curriculum. Now more than ever, teachers, parents and community leaders need to step up as role models who denounce all forms of hate and bigotry. Education and leadership are our best hope for eliminating hate from Massachusetts.”

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