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ADL: NJ ranks No. 3 in the nation in states with most anti-Semitism

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A new study released to the public suggests that New Jersey has one of the nation’s highest number of anti-Semitic incidents.

The Anti-Defamation League released a report Tuesday that found that the Garden State had the third-most instances of anti-Semitic incidents in the country – trailing behind only New York and California. New Jersey had 200 incidents of harassment, vandalism, assault and other anti-Semitic acts in 2018, according to the report.

Rabbi Yosef Carlebach, founding rabbi of  Chabad House at Rutgers University, tells News 12 New Jersey that his appearance has made him a target for anti-Semitism.

"I look like a live Jew…They see me with a black hat and a beard and I'm walking with my children on the Sabbath,” he says. “If they have any vocabulary that is not nice I will get that vocabulary very often.”

The report comes three days after a shooting that killed one woman at synagogue in California. That shooting happened six months after an attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh killed 11 people.

That fact that New Jersey ranks so high is not a surprise to some. New Jersey has the third-highest population of Jewish residents in the nation at nearly 550,000 people.

Rabbi Eric Eisenkramer, of Temple Bnai Shalom in East Brunswick, says that he believes that building bridges in one's own community diminishes anti-Semitism.

“The more connections you can build in your township, in your community and in your county the greater the chances that people can have a better understanding of one another,” he says.

Instances of anti-Semitism in 2018 were slightly lower than in 2017, according to the ADL. In 2017, there were 207 incidents. The full report can be found on the ADL website.

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