NEW YORK (JTA) — The number of anti-Semitic incidents dropped 14 percent nationwide last year, though the instances of vandalism rose, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents.
Also, New York and New Jersey saw increases in anti-Semitic incidents, according to the audit released Monday.
Nationwide, the audit counted 927 anti-Semitic incidents reported during the 2012 calendar year, a 14 percent decline from the 1,080 incidents in 2011.
The 2012 figures included 17 physical assaults, 470 cases of harassment, threats and events, and 440 instances of vandalism.
The vandalism figure represented a 33 percent increase over the 330 incidents in 2011. While a majority of the vandalism took place on public property or individual homes, Jewish institutions were targeted in 13 percent of the incidents.
“It is encouraging that in the past few years we have seen a fairly consistent decline in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States,” said Abraham Foxman, ADL’s national director. “While these numbers only provide one snapshot of anti-Semitism in America, to the extent that they serve as a barometer the decline shows that we have made progress as a society in confronting anti-Jewish hatred.
“Still, it is disturbing that there are so many incidents in America, and we must remain vigilant in responding to them and in encouraging law enforcement and the public to report these incidents as much as possible.”
The states with the highest total incidents were those with the largest Jewish populations.
The ADL recorded 248 anti-Semitic incidents in New York in 2012, representing a 27 percent increase from the 195 incidents in 2011. New York City’s five boroughs had 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’s acting 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.”
New Jersey recorded 173 incidents, up from 144.
The number of incidents dropped in other states with large Jewish population. California documented 185 incidents, down from 235; Florida reported 88 incidents, down from 111; Massachusetts logged 38 incidents, down from 72; and Pennsylvania recorded 37 incidents, down from 38.
The ADL has conducted its Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents annually since 1979. It includes criminal and non-criminal incidents reported in 35 states and Washington, D.C.