Antisemitic incidents up 100% in Connecticut

Antisemitic incidents have reached record levels here in Connecticut.
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 8:37 AM EDT
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HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB) - Antisemitic incidents have reached record levels here in Connecticut.

2022 was the worst year of antisemitic incidents in the 40 years the Anti-Defamation League has tracked this information.

Members of the Jewish community in Connecticut say this rise in antisemitism isn’t shocking at all.

“We know there’s always been antisemitism. We’re very aware that it’s increased,” said Rabbi Debra Cantor, B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom.

A study done by the Anti-Defamation League found a nationwide increase of 36% of antisemitic incidents in 2022.

In Connecticut there was a 100% increase.

“We are deeply concerned and deeply disturbed that antisemitic attacks have reached historic levels,” said Stacey Sobel, CT Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League.

The ADL found there are several contributing factors that could be causing these incidents.

· EXTREEMISTS AND HATE GROUPS (in political discourse)

· POP CULTURE (growing antisemitism in mainstream pop culture)

· RISING ONLINE HATE (huge rise in online hate)

Rabbi Cantor says the use, or misuse, of social media is only making things worse.

“The algorithms are designed to make extreme viewpoints, even hate speech, rise to the surface and get more play,” said Rabbi Cantor.

Children are also severely impacted. 30% of incidents in 2022 happened in public, K-12 schools.

“Every synagogue, every Jewish institution is getting trained. We’re having hours long training sessions on how to be aware, how not to panic, what not to do if somebody comes in attacks you,” explained Cantor.

In hopes of change, Stacey Sobel asks the public to speak up and report any hate incidents to ADL and law enforcement.

“The more data that we have, the better able we are to educate the public and affect legislative change,” said Sobel.

“Jewish life is very rich and joyful, and this is the opposite of that,” added Cantor.