ADL Audit: 1,080 Anti-Semitic Incidents Reported Across U.S. In 2011, A 13 Percent Decrease; In Washington, DC Region A 20 Percent Decrease

Nov 01, 2012, 15:07 ET from Anti-Defamation League

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following several years of level numbers, anti-Semitic incidents in the DC region dipped 20% in 2011, with a total of 42 incidents of assaults, vandalism and harassment reported during the calendar year, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

The annual ADL Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents tracks incidents of vandalism, harassment and physical assaults against Jewish individuals, property and community institutions across the United States, using reports and data gathered by the League's 30 regional offices and law enforcement in 45 states and Washington, D.C. 

"Although we take comfort in the decreased number of reported anti-Semitic incidents in the region in 2011, we are hesitant to draw broad conclusions based on one year's data," said David C. Friedman, ADL's Washington, DC Regional Director. "We remain acutely aware that even one single incident is too many, and that the Jewish community remains a primary target of both domestic and international extremists."

The 2011 Washington, DC Regional Office's ADL Audit identified:

  • 35 cases of anti-Semitic harassment, threats, and events;
  • 7 cases of anti-Semitic vandalism;
  • 0 physical assaults on Jewish individuals.

The Washington, DC Regional Office's Audit comprises data from Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and the District of Columbia, including official crime statistics as well as information provided to ADL's DC Regional Office by victims, law enforcement officers and community leaders and members.  The Audit encompasses criminal acts, such as vandalism, violence and threats of violence, as well as non-criminal incidents of harassment and intimidation. 

Incidents Decrease in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC and Increase Nominally in North Carolina

In 2011, Maryland and Virginia were the states with the highest reported totals of those in the Washington DC Regional Office's jurisdiction, with the District not far behind.  ADL tracked 12 incidents in Maryland in 2011, down from 19 in 2010; 11 incidents in Virginia, down from 20 in 2010; and 8 incidents in Washington, DC, down from 10 in 2010.  5 incidents were tracked in North Carolina in 2011, up from 4 incidents in 2010.

"As a measurement of anti-Semitism in America, the Audit helps us to identify trends across our region and pay close attention to how and where these incidents present themselves, and to what degree," said Sophie Dornstreich, ADL's Washington, DC Associate Regional Director.  "This information helps us to collaborate with law enforcement and others in our region's cities and communities to actively address the problem of anti-Semitic incidents and crimes."

Selected Incidents in 2011

Vandalism (Total 7 incidents reported, or 17 percent of the total):

North Carolina:  The words, "F*ck Bitch Jews," along with a phallic symbol, were spray-painted on a Jewish family's garage door. (March)

Virginia:  A synagogue was vandalized with swastikas. One was spray painted on the front door and the other was spray painted on the walkway. (July)

Harassment, Threats and Events (Total 35 reported, or 83 percent of the total):

Washington, DC: A Jewish institution received four consecutive phone messages from the same individual containing hostile, anti-Semitic rants, including the statements, "Hitler had some things right", "You can all go to hell", "Why in the world should anyone protect the Jews?", and "you Jews have played too much on the whole Holocaust thing." (July)

Maryland: Anti-Semitic mailers were put in every mailbox in a neighborhood, featuring headlines such as, "Jews Steal Invention" and "Jews Financially Destroy US". (August)

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 official crime statistics, as well as information provided by victims, law enforcement officers and community leaders and evaluated by ADL's professional staff, the Audit provides an annual snapshot of a nationwide problem while identifying possible trends or changes in the types of activity reported. The Audit does not include the thousands of anti-Semitic events and expressions occurring in cyberspace, as it is virtually impossible to quantify. This information assists ADL in developing and enhancing its programs to counter and prevent the spread of anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry. 

Editor's Note:  More information on the 2011 Audit, including state-by-state numbers, is available on the League's website at

SOURCE Anti-Defamation League