The number of anti-Semitic incidents in New Jersey decreased slightly in 2008, according to newly issued statistics from the Anti-Defamation League.
The ADL’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents counted a total of 238 incidents in 2008 in the state, contrasted with 247 in 2007, representing a slight decrease in the number of incidents. New Jersey ranks first in the nation for anti-Semitic incidents. This is the first time it has held what Etzion Neuer, the ADL’s New Jersey regional director, called this “dubious distinction.”
The 238 incidents included 177 incidents of vandalism, 59 incidents of harassment, and two physical assaults on Jewish individuals.
The counties with the highest totals were Monmouth (43); Middlesex (38); Bergen and Ocean (28 each); and Morris (19).
ADL’s national audit counted a total of 1,352 incidents of vandalism, harassment, and physical assaults against Jewish individuals, property, and community institutions across the United States in 2008, representing a 7 percent decline from the 1,460 incidents reported in 2007.
“It is heartening to see the decline in incidents,” said Neuer. “But we continue to see a troubling persistence of hate in New Jersey, indicating how anti-Semitism still remains embedded into the fabric of our society. Every incident has an effect on a victim that cuts deep and usually reverberates throughout the community.”
The audit comprises data, including official crime statistics, as well as information provided to ADL’s regional offices by victims, law enforcement officers, and community leaders.
It identifies criminal acts such as vandalism, violence, and threats of violence, as well as non-criminal incidents of harassment and intimidation, including hate propaganda, leafleting, and verbal slurs.
After New Jersey, the states with the highest totals were California (226, up from 186); New York (207, down from 351); Florida (122, down from 127); Pennsylvania (97, down from 99); Massachusetts (52, down from 95); and Connecticut (38, down from 49).