Executive Summary

Antisemitic incidents tracked in the 2021 Audit of Antisemitic Incidents reached an all-time high of 2,717 in the United States last year – an average of more than seven incidents per day and a 34 percent increase year over year, including assaults, harassment and vandalism. This is the highest number on record since ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979.

Executive Summary

Antisemitic incidents tracked in the 2021 Audit of Antisemitic Incidents reached an all-time high of 2,717 in the United States last year – an average of more than seven incidents per day and a 34 percent increase year over year, including assaults, harassment and vandalism. This is the highest number on record since ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979.

 


Major Findings

Harassment: Of the total, 1,776 incidents were categorized as harassment, defined as cases where one or more Jewish people (or people who were perceived to be Jewish) were harassed verbally (or in writing) with antisemitic conspiracy theories, slurs or stereotypes. Acts of harassment increased 43%, up from 1,242 in 2020.

Vandalism: Another 853 incidents were categorized as vandalism, defined as cases where property was damaged in a manner that incorporated evidence of antisemitic intent or which had an antisemitic impact on Jews. Swastikas, which are generally interpreted by Jews to be symbols of antisemitic hatred, were present in 578 of these incidents. Acts of antisemitic vandalism increased 14% from 751 in 2020.

Assault: A total of 88 incidents were categorized as assault, defined as cases where Jewish people (or people perceived to be Jewish) were targeted with physical violence accompanied by evidence of antisemitic animus. Antisemitic assaults increased 167% from 33 in 2020. Eleven of the assaults in 2021 were perpetrated with deadly weapons. The 88 assaults resulted in 131 victims and no fatalities.

2021 Incidents by State: Incidents occurred in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. The states with the highest number of incidents were New York (416), New Jersey (370), California (367), Florida (190), Michigan (112) and Texas (112). Combined, these states account for 58% of the total incidents.

Monthly Comparisons: Incidents in 2021 were highest in May (387), December (275) and November (242) and were lowest in August (165) and January (173). The surge of incidents in May coincides with the military conflict between Israel and Hamas. The previous highest month on record was November 2018 (300 incidents), which was the month after the Tree of Life synagogue mass shooting in Pittsburgh, PA. In every month in 2021 except for January and February, ADL counted an increase in incident reporting compared to the previous year.

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