According to new data released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today, reported antisemitic incidents in 2022 rose by 10% in New Jersey, reaching 408 total incidents – the highest number ever recorded by ADL in the state and the third-highest number recorded in any state across the country last year.
This is on the heels of a record-breaking year in 2021, which saw a 25% increase from 2020.
These 408 incidents in New Jersey constitute 11% of the total number of antisemitic incidents recorded across the United States last year.
Nationally, reported antisemitic incidents in the United States hit an all-time high of 3,697 incidents in 2022, a 36% increase relative to 2021 numbers (2,717 incidents) and a 75% increase over the previous all-time high in 2019 of 2,107 incidents.
The 2022 New Jersey data reflects a disturbing increase from last year’s record high of 370 antisemitic incidents and the pre-pandemic record of 345 incidents in 2019.
According to the data, New Jersey experienced increases in documented antisemitic incidents in two of the three main categories compiled by ADL – harassment, vandalism and assault.
In total, ADL recorded the following number of antisemitic incidents in New Jersey in 2022:
- 244 incidents of harassment;
- 155 incidents of vandalism; and
- 9 incidents of assault.
The 244 incidents of antisemitic harassment documented in 2022 represent a 3% decrease relative to 2021, but a 30% increase from the prior all-time high of 188. The 155 incidents of antisemitic vandalism recorded in 2022 represent a 38% increase relative to 2021. ADL also recorded 9 incidents of antisemitic assault, a concerning 50% increase above the previously record-high number recorded in 2021.
“We are alarmed by another record-setting year for antisemitic incidents in New Jersey, mirroring the trend we saw nationally,” said Scott Richman, Regional Director of ADL’s New York/New Jersey office serving Northern and Central New Jersey. “ADL is working closely with victims, schools, law enforcement, elected officials, and faith and community leaders to combat these record levels of antisemitism.”
Of the 408 antisemitic incidents recorded in New Jersey in 2022, 137 took place in public areas, 120 took place in non-Jewish K-12 schools, 46 took place at Jewish institutions, 44 occurred at private residences and 37 took place at business establishments.
The remaining 24 incidents occurred at colleges/universities (17) or online (7).
The 46 incidents that took place at Jewish institutions represent a 5% increase relative to the record-high number recorded in 2021.
Notably, in November 2022, the F.B.I. notified the Jewish community of a broad state-wide threat targeting New Jersey synagogues, which resulted in the arrest of a Middlesex County man who wrote in his manifesto, shared via social media, that he “did target a synagogue for a really good reason . . ..”
The year 2022 also saw a rise in incidents directed towards Orthodox Jews, both in New Jersey and nationally.
New Jersey recorded 30 antisemitic incidents specifically directed at Orthodox Jews in 2022; all 9 of the assaults recorded in New Jersey targeted Orthodox Jews.
One of those 9 assaults was the violent terror spree of 4 separate acts, which injured 4 Orthodox Jewish members of the Lakewood and Jackson communities on Erev Shabbos HaGadol one year ago.
The suspect in that case, 27-year-old Dion marsh of Manchester, was arrested later that night and charged with multiple crimes, including four counts of violating the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
Ocean County, which includes Lakewood, Toms River, Manchester and Jackson, had the most incidents of any county in the state, with 62.
The next county was Bergen, with 45 reported incidents.
Other assaults included a BB gun shooting in Lakewood and 3 different incidents of rock throwing in Union City (Hudson County).
Of particular concern noted by the ADL, all 9 antisemitic assaults in New Jersey in 2022 were directed against members of the Orthodox Jewish community.
In 2022, 163 incidents involved swastikas – up 23% from 2021. In fact, 40% of all incidents in New Jersey involved the display of a Nazi swastika, which serves as the most significant and notorious symbol of antisemitism and white supremacy. Forty-eight (29%) of these incidents occurred in the fourth quarter of 2022.