Posted in .

Anti-Semitic Incidents Surged in New York State in 1st Quarter of 2017; Anti-Semitic Vandalism Increased by 50 Percent in 2016

  • April 24, 2017

New York, NY, April 24, 2017 … Anti-Semitic incidents in New York State held steady in 2016, but surged in the first quarter of 2017, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents.

Preliminary data for the first quarter of 2017 indicates a striking rise in anti-Semitic acts with a total of 97 anti-Jewish incidents logged in the first three months of the year across New York State, a 70 percent increase from 57 incidents in the first quarter of 2016.

“The upsurge and volume of anti-Semitic vandalism incidents across the state remains a serious concern and the data bears this out,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director. “At the same time, the decline in anti-Semitic harassment and assault in 2016 is very encouraging.”

While the total number of incidents across New York State in 2016 essentially remained constant at 199, instances of anti-Jewish vandalism surged by 50 percent. This uptick was offset by a decrease in the total numbers of anti-Semitic harassment and assault. Three quarters of 2016’s 199 total incidents of anti-Semitism constituted vandalism or anti-Jewish graffiti.

The total number of anti-Semitic incidents across New York State in 2016 included:

  • 146 incidents of vandalism – up from 98 in 2015
  • 29 incidents of harassment – down from 56 in 2015
  • 19 incidents of assault – down from 44 in 2015
  • 5 incidents of hate literature distribution

New York City Metro Area:

In 2016, there were 122 anti-Semitic incidents reported in the five boroughs of New York City, with about half, 63, taking place in Brooklyn. In the first quarter of 2017, New York City experienced a total of 63 incidents.

The following includes the total number of anti-Semitic incidents for specific regions:

  • Brooklyn:
    • 2017 1st QTR: 22 | 2016: 63 | 2015: 59
  • Manhattan:
    • 2017 1st QTR: 36 | 2016: 40 | 2015: 48
  • Queens:
    • 2017 1st QTR: 2 | 2016: 11| 2015: 12
  • Bronx:
    • 2017 1st QTR: 1 | 2016: 3 | 2015: 5
  • Staten Island:
    • 2017 1st QTR: 2 | 2016: 5 | 2015: 8
  • Long Island:
    • 2017 1st QTR: 8 | 2016: 57 | 2015: 52
      • Nassau – 2017 1st QTR: 4 | 2016: 43 | 2015: 21
      • Suffolk – 2017 1st QTR: 4 | 2016: 14 | 2015: 31
  • Westchester, Rockland County and Upstate:
    • 2017 1st QTR: 26 | 2016: 20 | 2015: 14

“Between the bomb threats that targeted Jewish institutions and the proliferation of swastika vandalism, concerns remain about the security of New York’s Jewish community,” said Andrew Frackman, ADL New York Regional Board Chair. “The good news is that our elected officials and law enforcement continue diligently to combat the issue.”

Nationwide, ADL’s Audit reported a total of 1,266 anti-Semitic incidents in 2016, representing a 34 percent rise from the 942 incidents reported during the same period in 2015. New York State fell just behind California, which topped the list of states with the most incidents at 211.


Sampling of Select Incidents Across N.Y State in 2016:



  • A Jewish man’s Yarmulke was grabbed off of his head while he was watching a baseball game at Yankee Stadium. (September)
  • Two Swastikas were etched into a wall in the stairwell of a private building. (March)


  • Swastikas and pro-Nazi messages were scrawled on the entrance of an apartment building in Bedford-Stuyvesant. (January)
  • A Jewish woman received a threatening anti-Semitic voicemail at her home. (January)
  • The words “F— Jews” were written on the wall in the entranceway of an apartment building in Borough Park. (April)
  • Two Jewish men were shot with paintballs while walking down the street in Crown Heights. (June)
  • A Jewish woman’s car was damaged with four swastikas. (October)
  • A Jewish man was attacked by two teenage assailants who hurled chunks of ice at him. (December)


  • Jewish woman’s mezuzah was taken off her doorframe and smashed. (January)
  • A swastika was discovered in the hallway of a dormitory at Fordham University. (March)
  • Two swastikas were drawn on the walls of a subway station. (August)
  • A Jewish institute received a phone call from a man who said “The Nazis did not kill enough of you.” (September)
  • Several students at The New School in Manhattan found swastikas scrawled on their dorm room doors. (November)


  • A poster outside of a local synagogue was vandalized with anti-Semitic and anti-Israel messages. (August)
  • Two swastikas were etched into a bench at a public high school. (November)

Long Island:

  • A large menorah was damaged in Melville. (January)
  • Swastikas were painted inside a bathroom at Nassau Community College. (March)
  • Swastikas were carved into playground equipment at an elementary school in West Islip. (April)
  • Anti-Semitic graffiti painted onto a playground in Bethpage. (July)
  • Swastikas were drawn on picnic tables in a park in Brady Park in Massapequa Park. (December)


  • Six swastikas and the word “Jew” were spray-painted on a Jewish woman’s home. (January)
  • A student received a text message from classmates with an image depicting him in a gas chamber. (August)
  • Swastikas were discovered on a bulletin board in a dorm. (November)


  • A swastika was spray-painted onto a bridge in Newburgh. (February)
  • Anti-Semitic graffiti was found in a bathroom at SUNY Buffalo. (March)
  • Explosive firecrackers were used to attack the homes of two rabbis in Monsey. (August)
  • An anti-Semitic letter was sent to a local Synagogue in Albany. (September)
  • A Jewish cemetery in Warwick was vandalized with swastikas and the words “Heil Hitler.” (October)
  • “No Jews” was spray-painted on a street in front of a home for sale in Ramapo. (November)

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.  Follow us on Twitter: @ADL_NY