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Anti-Semitism - U.S.  
2008 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents RULE Anti-Semitic Vandalism

Posted: June 1, 2009

Summary of Findings
The Numbers State-By-State
Graph: 2003-2008
Anti-Semitic Assaults
Anti-Semitic Vandalism
Anti-Semitic Harassment/Events
On Evaluating Anti-Semitic Incidents

ADL recorded 702 cases of anti-Semitic vandalism in 2008.  Incidents are individually evaluated by ADL and are categorized as anti-Semitic based on the presence of anti-Semitic symbols or language; the identity of the perpetrator(s), if known; and the target of the vandalism and its proximity to Jewish homes, communities, institutions and houses of worship.

The following is a chronological list of representative incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism in 2008.


  • Scottsdale:  A synagogue was vandalized by unknown assailants.  Damage included a shattered outdoor bulletin board, an overturned flower planter, and a damaged window that had been hit with a thrown cinderblock. (June)
  • Scottsdale:  A synagogue was vandalized with swastikas, racial slurs, and phallic symbols. (June)
  • Phoenix:  A burglar with white supremacist associations was apprehended while stealing computers from a Jewish day school. (July)


  • San Francisco:  Swastikas scrawled on San Francisco Holocaust Memorial.  (January)
  • Tarzana and Encino:  An anti-Semitic graffiti spree left swastikas and anti-Semitic messages, including "F--- Jews" and "Burn Jews" on several private homes. (January)
  • West Hills:  A Jewish Community Campus was the target of a Molotov cocktail which, fortunately, did not explode. (February)
  • West Hills:  A swastika and the phrase "F--- Jews" was spray-painted on the wall of a school auditorium. (March)
  • Los Angeles:  Swastikas and neo-Nazi phrases were spray-painted on the gate of a Jewish school. (March)
  • Palo Alto:  A swastika and anti-Semitic graffiti were spray-painted on the wall of a Jewish Center. (March)
  • Poway:  Swastikas and neo-Nazi graffiti defaced a synagogue. (April)
  • San Francisco:  Swastikas were painted on the wall of a kosher butcher shop. (May)
  • Mill Valley:  The mezuzah on the door of a Jewish school was defaced with a swastika and Arabic writing. (May)
  • Camarillo:  A Jewish preschool was tagged with swastikas. (July)
  • Camarillo:  A Jewish preschool was tagged with swastikas. (August)
  • Richmond:  A synagogue was vandalized with graffiti including swastikas and "SS." (August)
  • San Clemente:  Swastikas and neo-Nazi symbols were spray-painted on buildings and sidewalks at a public park. (November)
  • San Francisco:  The San Francisco Holocaust Memorial was defaced with "Israel, their blood is on your hands" in red spray-paint. (December)


  • New Haven:  Swastikas and the phrase, "Kill Jews" was scrawled on the wall of a passenger train. (March)
  • Bridgeport:  Swastikas, racial slurs, references to Nazis and White Wolves (a local white supremacist group) were spray-painted on a building in a public park. (June)
  • Manchester:  A synagogue's sukkah was vandalized. (October)
  • Shelton:  Graffiti including swastikas, the n-word, and phrases advocating killing blacks and Jews was found on buildings in a public park. (November)


  • Sunny Isles Beach:  Swastika and KKK spray-painted in condominium stairwell.  (January)
  • Naples:  A brick was thrown through the window of a Holocaust Museum.  (March)
  • Largo:  A swastika was etched onto a picnic bench at a Jewish summer camp. (June)
  • Deerfield Beach:  The home of a Jewish individual was defaced with the phrase "Get out Jew or die." (July)
  • Orlando:  Anti-Semitic graffiti was drawn on an apartment complex. (October)
  • Clearwater:  A public menorah was defaced with swastikas, phallic symbols, and anti-Semitic language.  (December)


  • Chicago: 57 graves were desecrated with graffiti containing neo-Nazi phrases and Stars of David hanging from gallows. (January)
  • Des Plains:  A small explosive device was placed outside a synagogue but was successfully disarmed. (November)
  • Chicago:  A Molotov cocktail was thrown at a synagogue. (December)


  • Blue Hill:  A home was spray-painted with expletives, swastikas, and the phrase, "Kill Jews." (August)


  • Pikesville:  Two Jewish institutions were spray-painted with anti-Semitic graffiti.  (October)
  • Mt. Ranier:  Numerous anti-Semitic signs were placed throughout the city. (December)


  • Boston:  The door of a synagogue was found defaced with feces. (July)
  • Revere:  A synagogue was defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti, including swastikas and the phrase "F--- the Jews." (August)

New Jersey

  • Butler:  Swastikas and white supremacist graffiti painted on bridge. (January)
  • New Brunswick:  500 gravestones overturned in Jewish cemetery. (January)
  • New Jersey:  The words "White Pride World Wide" and a swastika were spray-painted on a High School building. (February)
  • Mahwah:  A crossed-out Star of David and the phrase "Hitler wants you" were scrawled on a train station. (February)
  • New Jersey:  Anti-Semitic graffiti, including the words "Hitler," "Kill," and a Star of David, were found on a slide at a public playground. (March)
  • Cranford:  Anti-war slogans, a peace symbol and the phrase "Stop the Jew problem now!" were written on the wall of a school restroom. (April)
  • New Milford:  A swastika fashioned out of blue utility tape was found affixed to the wall of Jewish kindergarten playground. (April)
  • Fair Lawn:  A restroom in a public school was defaced with numerous swastikas with phrases such as "Heil Hitler," "Jews will burn," a Star of David with the word "Die" in its center, and a Star of David drawn in a urinal. (June)
  • Howell Township:  Swastikas and the phrase, "No Jews allowed" were carved into a plastic slide at a local park.  (August)
  • Hightstown:  Swastikas were painted on a Jewish school. (September)

New York

  • Brooklyn:  Swastika and the words "F--- Jews" painted on Jewish Senior Center.  (January)
  • Brooklyn:  Swastika painted on Jewish school. (January)
  • Queens:  11 tombstones were defaced with swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti. (February)
  • Brooklyn:  A swastika and anti-Semitic graffiti were spray-painted on a yeshiva school bus. (February)
  • Brooklyn:  A swastika and the phrase "Kill all Jews" was found in the vestibule of a private building. (February)
  • Brooklyn:  The words "Die evil Jew f----" were spray-painted on the front door to an individual's apartment. (March)
  • Staten Island:  A swastika and the phrase "F--- Jews" were discovered written on the bench of a baseball field at a public park.  Nearby was more graffiti which said, "No more Jewish park." (May)
  • New York:  A school bus full of students from a Jewish school was stoned by two men. (May)
  • Brooklyn:  Two swastikas were scrawled on the exterior door of a synagogue. (May)
  • Brooklyn:  An Israeli flag was burned in front of a synagogue. (June)
  • Dix Hills:  A Jewish organization's building was vandalized with graffiti saying "Die Jews" and "F--- Judaism." (July)
  • Staten Island:  Two swastikas were spray-painted on the wall of a synagogue. (August)
  • Staten Island:  A swastika and neo-Nazi symbols were found on the outer wall of a synagogue.  (August)
  • Dix Hills:  A Jewish community center was shot at with paintballs. (August)
  • Kerhonkson:  A synagogue was spray-painted with swastikas, 666 and hate messages. (September)
  • Fallsburg:  A Jewish bungalow was spray-painted with racial slurs and set on fire.  (September)
  • Brooklyn:  A yeshiva school bus was spray-painted with a swastika. (October)
  • New York:  A sukkah was damaged and defaced with swastikas. (October)
  • White Plains:  Swastikas scrawled on a Jewish school. (November)


  • Philadelphia:  A maintenance worker repeatedly removed a mezuzah from the door of an apartment, and made comments including "I don't want your Jewish garbage in my apartment building," and "I don't want you f---ing Jews in this apartment building." (June)
    Allentown:  A building owned by a Jewish individual was defaced with swastikas and the phrase "F--- Jews." (November)


  • Nashville:  Homes defaced with neo-Nazi graffiti. (October)


  • Seattle:  An outdoor mural celebrating a Jewish holiday was defaced with Nazi symbols. (May)
  • Vashon:  A synagogue was broken into and defaced with graffiti reading "God hates Jews." (July)

Washington D.C.

  • A graffiti spree of swastikas and white power symbols were painted in several places in one night. (March)
  • A synagogue was vandalized.  Its floodlights were smashed; a Save Darfur sign was stolen and an Israeli flag was burned. (July)


  • Madison:  Two swastikas and the phrase "Die Jew" were found on the front door of a synagogue.  Another swastika was found on the side of the building. (April)
  • Madison:  A swastika was drawn on the wall of a synagogue.  (May)

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Press Release:
Anti-Semitic Incidents Decline for Fourth Straight Year in U.S., According to Annual ADL Audit

Photos: The Year in Images

ADL Analysis:
2008: The Year in Anti-Semitism
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2009 Anti-Defamation League