Tracking hate: Anti-Semitic acts in NJ drop by 55%

Tracking hate: Anti-Semitic acts in NJ drop by 55%

Significant decrease, although state places third in national tally

Despite a significant decline in anti-Semitic incidents from 173 in 2012 to 78 in 2013, New Jersey ranks third in the nation for assaults, harassments, vandalism, and other attacks on Jews.

It is surpassed only by New York state, with 203 incidents, and California, with 143.

The 55 percent drop is one of the largest declines in the past 10 years.

According to ADL figures, the number of attacks in New Jersey reached a high point of 297 in 2004 and remained at 200 or more each year until 2009, when the total dropped to 132. Since then, the 2012 figure was the high point, and last year’s was the low point.

According to the Anti-Defamation League’s “Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents,” Jews in New Jersey experienced two assaults (up from one in 2012), 47 cases of vandalism (down from 91), and 29 cases of harassment threats and other events (down from 81).

The counties with the highest totals were Monmouth and Ocean, with 14 apiece, and Middlesex, with 12.

“We are keenly aware that anti-Semitic incidents and crime, like other types of bias-motivated crime, go vastly under-reported,” said Ross Pearlson of Livingston, chair of the ADL NJ regional board, in a statement. “It is our job, as an agency and broader community, to shine the light on anti-Semitism and hate whenever and wherever it occurs. We will not rest until anti-Semitism and bigotry are eradicated in New Jersey.”

The following are among the most severe incidents cited by the ADL in 2013:

• In March, the word “Hitler” was spray-painted on the sign at a synagogue in Cherry Hill.

• In April, two swastikas and the words “swastika & Jew” were carved into a slide at a school playground in Clark.

• In February, swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti — including “Heil Hitler” and “Gas the Jews” — were painted on a telephone pole in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood of East Brunswick.

• In October, a red swastika and the words “Jew, Kikes, will burn” were written on a stall in a bathroom at a high school in Hightstown.

• In March, the words “Nazis Rule….” were scrawled on a sign located in front of a synagogue in Lakewood.

• In May, two Orthodox men walking to a synagogue in Marlton on Shabbat heard people in a passing car say, “Heil Hitler” and “We can get friends and kill them.”

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