Antisemitism is rooted in hostile behavior or beliefs toward Jews, simply because they are Jewish. This can look like political efforts to isolate, oppress or otherwise injure them, perpetrating harmful stereotypes, or even claiming from whatever platform that Jews are inferior. On May 16, 2021 a man scratched a swastika into the front door of an Orthodox synagogue in Salt lake City, Utah. The Rabbi, Avremi Zippel, whose parents founded Chabad Lubavitch of Utah almost 30 years ago said, “This was the kind of thing that would never happen in Salt Lake City, but it’s on the rise around the country.”
58% of American Jews have reported facing religious discrimination. In 2020 there were a total of 2,024 anti-Semitic incidents across the United States; a slight decrease from the 2,107 incidents recorded in 2019. Although the number of hate crimes went down a bit, last year was still the third-highest year for incidents against American Jews since 1979. The number of technological crimes, such as intentionally disrupting live video conferences, rose significantly in 2020, with at least 196 Jewish institutions targeted. In August of 2017, the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia was a disturbing manifestation of antisemitism in the country today. Hundreds of people waved swastika flags, threw Nazi salutes, and shouted horrible phrases such as “Seig Heil” And “Jews will not replace us.”
There is so much we can to do fight against antisemitism in the United States. We can engage with Jewish people in our communities, asking them sincerely about their experiences. We can learn more about the Jewish belief systems and lifestyles, and speak out against any harmful stereotypes we encounter. We can read news accounts and opinion pieces written by those in the Jewish community. If we’re able, we can donate to organizations that fight anti-semitism, and visit educational centers.