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Anti-Semitic Incidents Increased Across New York State and New York City in 2012

  • July 22, 2013

Date: July 22, 2013


Anti-Semitic Audit

The number of anti-Semitic incidents in New York State increased in 2012, ranking the state first in the nation for the overall number of anti-Jewish incidents, according to newly issued statistics from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

ADL’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents counted a total of 248 incidents statewide in 2012, representing a 27 percent increase from 195 incidents in 2011.  In the five boroughs of New York City, there were a total of 172 anti-Jewish acts, including incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism, compared to 127 in 2011.

“While the great majority of Jewish New Yorkers feel comfortable and safe in their respective communities, it is nevertheless disturbing that we saw almost a 30 percent uptick in the total number of anti-Semitic incidents across the state,” said Etzion Neuer, ADL Interim New York Regional Director.  “Though we did see a decrease in harassment and threats, the sharp increase of anti-Semitic vandalism incidents is a reminder that we are still not immune to anti-Semitism.”

“Jews are still being targeted in significant numbers across New York State,” added Gregg Mashberg, ADL New York Regional Board Chair.  “The good news is that anti-Semitism is not accepted and every time there is an incident, we see an overwhelming community response from New Yorkers who are willing to stand up and say that our state is ‘no place for hate.”
Nationwide, the ADL Audit counted a total of 927 incidents reported during the 2012 calendar year, including 17 physical assaults, 470 cases of anti-Semitic harassment, threats, and events, and 440 instances of anti-Semitic vandalism.

New York: Anti-Semitic Acts by Borough and Region

According to the ADL Audit, 54 incidents of harassment, six physical assaults and 188 cases of vandalism in 2011 were reported across the state.
The following includes the total number of anti-Semitic incidents in specific regions:

• Brooklyn – 87
• Manhattan – 44
• Queens – 30
• Bronx – 11
• Staten Island – 9
• Westchester, Rockland County & Upstate – 11
• Long Island – 56    (Nassau: 54; Suffolk: 2)

Sampling of Anti-Semitic Incidents in New York State in 2012:

• Several business along sixth avenue were defaced with swastikas (Jan. 8)

• While waiting for a subway, an Orthodox man was approached by another man who grabbed his yarmulke off his head, threw it to the ground and stepped on it.  (July 24)

• A Jewish educational institution received voicemails warning all Jews the nuclear Holocaust is coming and threatening to “execute all Jews.” (July 25)


• Swastikas were spray-painted on multiple Jewish community buildings and other commercial locations (June 15)

• A rock was thrown through window of a synagogue (June 28)

• A swastika and the phrase “F*** the Jewish” were found on playground equipment in a public park  (July 4)

• The Kingston Avenue subway station contained graffiti “The world would be much better off if all of the Jews were lampshades.”  Also “Hitler was right re the Jews” (Oct. 4)

• A Holocaust Memorial Park was defaced with the word “f***” and a star of David was spray painted (Aug. 8)


• A synagogue was defaced on the entrance door with a swastika (Mar. 10)

• A swastika was drawn on a sign in front of a synagogue. (July 23)

Long Island:

• Cars that were parked overnight at a Great Neck Synagogue were scratched with swastikas  (Jan. 6)

• Two Menorahs were damaged in Nassau County; one in a county park and the other outside of a synagogue (Nov. 25 and Dec. 1)

About the ADL Audit

            The Audit identifies both criminal and non-criminal acts of harassment and intimidation, including distribution of hate propaganda, threats and slurs.  Compiled using information provided by victims, law enforcement and community leaders and evaluated by ADL’s professional staff, the Audit provides an annual snapshot of one specific aspect of a nationwide problem while identifying possible trends or changes in the types of activity reported.  This information assists ADL in developing and enhancing its programs to counter and prevent the spread of anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry.