Antisemitic Incidents in New Jersey More Than Doubled The Previous Year’s Record High; ADL Says

According to new data released today by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), reported antisemitic incidents in 2023 rose by a stunning 103% in New Jersey, reaching 830 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 2022, which saw a 10% increase from 2021. These 830 incidents in New Jersey constitute 9% of the total number of antisemitic incidents recorded across the United States last year.   

The 2023 New Jersey data reflects a disturbing increase from last year’s record high of 409 antisemitic incidents. The fourth quarter of 2023 hit a staggering 409 reported antisemitic incidents in New Jersey – equaling the total reported in New Jersey in all of 2022.   

According to the data, New Jersey experienced significant increases in documented antisemitic incidents in all 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 2023: 

  • 572 incidents of harassment; 
  • 241 incidents of vandalism; and 
  • 17 incidents of assault. 

The 572 incidents of antisemitic harassment documented in 2023 represent a 134% increase relative to 2022. The 241 incidents of antisemitic vandalism recorded in 2023 represent a 55% increase relative to 2022. ADL also recorded 17 incidents of antisemitic assault, a deeply concerning 89% increase above the previously record-high number recorded in 2022. 

“We are alarmed by an unprecedented rise in 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 particular concern to ADL were the 213 antisemitic incidents that took place at non-Jewish K-12 schools in 2023 – a 78% increase over the already record high increase seen in 2022.  Also of concern were the 124 incidents that took place at Jewish institutions – representing a 170% increase relative to the already record-high number recorded in 2022. 

Incidents involving swastikas also increased. In 2023, ADL recorded 227 antisemitic incidents in New Jersey involving swastikas – up 39% from 2022. 28% 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. 

ADL documented the highest number of antisemitic incidents in the following five counties in New Jersey: 

  • Bergen (166) had a 269% increase; 
  • Middlesex (91) had a 122% increase; 
  • Monmouth (91) had a 117% increase; 
  • Essex (77) had a 133% increase; and  
  • Ocean (75) had a 21% increase.   

Although most counties in New Jersey experienced a significant uptick in reported antisemitic incidents, Bergen County documented a dramatic 269% increase in reported antisemitic incidents, from 45 incidents in 2022 to 166 incidents in 2023 – taking the lead spot from Ocean County.  Shockingly, Bergen County had 39 antisemitic incidents reported by the end of the first quarter of 2023 – nearly the same number they had in all of 2022, which was 45.   

In addition, New Jersey recorded 17 antisemitic assaults in 2023, which represents an 89% increase from 2022 – 1 was with a weapon, 5 were directed towards Orthodox Jews, and 4 were Israel or Zionism related.  Three assaults occurred in public K-12 schools and 11 occurred in public places.

The remainder occurred at a college campus, synagogue and a business establishment. Bergen County had the highest number of assaults with 5 reported.

These assaults included Jews being egged, shot with pellet and BB guns, punched, pushed to the ground, and run off the road while driving in their car. During these assaults, the antisemitic slurs included “Jewish N***,” “Dirty Jew,” among other insults.   

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