Antisemitism On the Rise in New Jersey
Today the Jewish community commemorates Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day. It's a time to remember the 6 million Jews who were murdered during the holocaust.
As a young Jewish boy growing up, the lessons of the holocaust were drilled into my head, as well as my friends. We were told, "Never Again." As a kid, my attitude was, "There's no way that could ever happen again."
I can only shake my head as I write this story.
According to the website, Worldpopulationreview.com, New Jersey, with an estimated 547,000 Jewish residents, ranks as the third largest Jewish population in the country. Just over 6% of New Jersey's residents are Jewish.
The Anti-Defamation League says New Jersey is also among the states with the highest number of documented antisemitic incidents.
2022 was the second straight year that New Jersey has seen a record number of antisemitic cases reported. It's a disturbing trend that is a nationwide problem. According to the Anti-Defamation League, nationwide, documented antisemitic incidents rose 36%.
The report doesn't link these incidents to any one particular cause. Their findings, however, are disturbing.
Significant surges in incidents include high volume increases in organized white supremacist propaganda activity (102% increase to 852 incidents), K-12 schools (49% increase to 494 incidents) and college campuses (41% increase to 219 incidents), as well as deeply troubling percentage increases in attacks on Orthodox Jews (69% increase to 59 Incidents) and bomb threats toward Jewish institutions (an increase from eight to 91 incidents).
Here in New Jersey, Ocean County, with its large Jewish population in Lakewood leads all South Jersey counties in documented cases of antisemitism. In Cape May, there were two reported acts of antisemitism involving k-12 schools. Scott Richman, the Regional Director of the Antidefamation League's NY/NJ office told Northjersey.com,
ADL is working closely with victims, schools, law enforcement, elected officials, and faith and community leaders to combat these record levels of antisemitism.