ADL: NJ had the 2nd most antisemitic incidents in US in 2021

New Jersey had the second-most antisemitic incidents in the United States this past year, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
The ADL reported a total of 2,717 incidents of antisemitic-related assault, harassment, and vandalism in the country in 2021. That is the highest number recorded since they began tracking in 1979. Assaults alone increased by 167%
The Garden State saw a 25% increase from 2020 with harassment, vandalism and assault totaling 370 incidents.
Bergen County led with 70 cases of antisemitism. Ocean County had 44 incidents, while both Middlesex and Union counties reported 30 incidents.
Credit: Anti-Defamation League
Credit: Anti-Defamation League
Credit: Anti-Defamation League
The ADL says the state with the most antisemitic incidents was New York with a total of 426 cases reported.
Jason Shames is the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, which also tracks and report antisemitism. Shames says while the numbers are disturbing, they’re not surprising.
"There's this hollow feeling…people feel targeted and feel uncomfortable here in America, the land of the free,” he says.
Shames highlighted a recent alleged incident of antisemitism towards members of a Jewish fraternity at Rutgers this weekend. Another man in Ocean County is accused of going on an antisemitic crime spree targeting the Orthodox Jewish community in Lakewood earlier this month.
"Social media gives everyone free reign to find like-minded individuals. I think we haven't cracked down quite hard enough on people who are practicing harassment, intimidation and bullying,” Shames says.
He's hoping more education, increased outreach and tougher legislation can help turn back the curve of hate crimes against the Jewish community.
"We are horrified by the rise in this and very much concerned for people's sense of safety and security,” Shames says.
Incidents were reported in all 50 states. A surge in reporting happened last May during a conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Credit: Anti-Defamation League