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Anti-Defamation League Reports the Largest Single-Year Increase in Anti-Semitic Incidents

The Mandel Jewish Community Center in Beachwood was the target of a bomb threat in Feb. 2017. Police determined the threat was not credible.
The Mandel Jewish Community Center in Beachwood was the target of a bomb threat in Feb. 2017. Police determined the threat was not credible.

The Anti-Defamation League has released its annual report of anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. for 2017.

Last year marked the largest single-year increase nationwide since the ADL began tracking incidents in the late ‘70s. Ohio ranked 19th in the nation with 26 anti-Semitic incidents reported last year. In terms of per capita incidents, Ohio ranked in the lower half of states at number 34.

Anita Gray is the ADL’s regional director in Cleveland. She says anti-Semitic incidents tend to happen at a higher rate in areas with large Jewish communities.

“If you look at anti-Semitism, where there are large pockets of Jews in California and New York, there are more incidents, dramatically more."

Grey said the ADL has gotten busier fielding reports of hate incidents in Cleveland, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia since the 2016 presidential election.

“We noticed there was a lead-up on the levels of hate and anti-Semitism as the presidential campaign heated up," Grey said. "But I think the divisive state of our national discourse has contributed broadly to the diminishment of civility in society.”

Reported incidents in Ohio last year included multiple bomb threats at Jewish community centers and racist graffiti at schools and colleges. Find a state-by-state breakdown of incidents here.

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