Football fans see this message on the back of the Buffalo Bills' helmets
"On Saturday, January 15th, a gunman entered Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, TX, and held hostages for much of the day. We are grateful that all four hostages made it out safely, and thankful for law enforcement, first responders, and the security training that our partner Secure Community Network provided to this community. The horrifying attack on the Colleyville synagogue was a continuation of a troubling and unacceptable trend of attacks on Jewish houses of worship and individuals who are visibly Jewish." (The Jewish Federations of North America)
Antisemitism in America
The American Jewish Committee's annual State of Antisemitism in America report for 2021, includes the largest-ever surveys of American Jews and the U.S. general public on antisemitism in America. The report shows deep anxiety among American Jews and divergent views among the general public about the severity of antisemitism in the United States. With 1,433 respondents, it is one of the largest scientific surveys of American Jews ever conducted by a major Jewish organization. The survey of the U.S. general public, conducted by SSRS in September, is the second and largest of its kind.
- Majorities of both American Jews and the U.S. general public agree that antisemitism is a problem in America, though to differing extents. While 90% of American Jews believe antisemitism is a serious problem, that number drops to 60% among the general public.
- Notably, 21% of the general public believes antisemitism is not much of a problem in the United States and 4% say it is not a problem at all.
- While 82% of American Jews believe antisemitism has increased in the United States over the past five years, only 44% of the general public agree.
- One in every four American Jews (24%) has been a victim of antisemitism over the past year.
- Four in ten Americans (41%) have witnessed at least one antisemitic incident.
- Half of American Jews (50%) believe antisemitism on college campuses has gotten worse over the past five years.
- The survey identified four sources of antisemitism, (1) the far right, (2) the hard left, (3) extremism in the name of Islam, and (4) individuals from racial and ethnic minority groups. The addition of the last source in this year’s survey reflects a recent wave of antisemitic attacks in such places as Jersey City; Monsey, New York; and Brooklyn, most of which targeted Hasidic Jews and none of which can be attributed to any of the traditional sources of antisemitism.
A year ago, nearly half of Americans surveyed did not know what antisemitism was—or had never even heard the term. This year, two thirds (65%) of respondents said they know what antisemitism is, and the findings of this report suggest that they are seeing it. That four in ten Americans have witnessed antisemitism is deeply disturbing, but it also indicates that Americans are becoming sensitized to Jew-hatred and are taking note of it when it occurs.
Only Wisdom Stops Hate
"Now is the time for American Jews to introduce themselves to their non-Jewish neighbors—both literally and figuratively. Efforts to familiarize Americans of all backgrounds with Jewish life, with the different facets of contemporary Jewish identity, and with American Jews as individuals and as a community will help ensure that the positive trends of the past year continue and that negative trends are held at bay. This must be a true communal endeavor, showcasing American Jewry in all its diversity and telling our story in a way that is compelling and authentic." (The Jewish Federations of North America).
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