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Press ReleaseAnti-Semitism-USA
2000 ADL Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents Shows Sharp
Increase for New York

50 Percent Increase in the Five Boroughs

New York, NY, March 21, 2001 … Anti-Semitic incidents rose nearly 50 percent across the five boroughs of New York City during the year 2000, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents issued today. New York State experienced a 32 percent increase and continued to lead the nation in expressions of anti-Jewish hate.

"We are extremely disturbed that there was such a pronounced increase of anti-Semitic incidents in New York City last year," said Howie Katz, ADL New York Regional Director. "While the rest of the country saw little if any change in the statistics for anti-Semitic incidents, New York City’s levels rose dramatically over the last year. This increase is clearly unacceptable for a city that prides itself on its racial and ethnic diversity."

Across the five boroughs of New York City, 275 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in 2000, reflecting a 49 percent increase from the 184 incidents reported in 1999. The most dramatic increase was in Brooklyn, where the number of incidents more than doubled, with 121 incidents reported, up from 58 in 1999.

Statewide, 481 incidents were reported in 2000, as compared with 365 in 1999. The dramatic increase in New York’s numbers may be attributed to several factors, ADL officials said. During the month of October, 107 incidents were reported in New York State, more than at any other time during the year. This increase was due to a confluence of factors. The Jewish High Holidays, which traditionally have witnessed an increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents, this year coincided with renewed violence in the Middle East following the breakdown of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which created a spillover effect in the United States. At least 29 incidents in New York State were tied to the conflict and perpetrated by Palestinian sympathizers. Additionally, changes that led to more vigilant tracking by law enforcement may have influenced the numbers.

"We believe that the cooperative efforts between law enforcement agencies throughout the state, working with the Jewish and other communities, to aggressively investigate and prosecute hate crimes, have encouraged more people to come forward and report incidents," Mr. Katz said. "Likewise, the expansion of the New York City Police Department’s Bias Crimes Unit has led to more attention and scrutiny of hate crimes and other acts that, while not necessarily criminal, are expressions of anti-Semitism."

Nationally, 1,606 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in 2000, reflecting a 4 percent increase over the previous year. Incidents reported in the ADL Audit are gathered using combined data from the League’s 30 Regional Offices and law enforcement. The Audit categorizes New York State’s 2000 incidents as follows:

  • 246 incidents of vandalism, including property damage and synagogue desecration;
  • 235 incidents of harassment, including verbal intimidation, threats and physical assault.

The Numbers by County and Borough

New York City

  • Manhattan, 80, up from 75
  • Brooklyn, 121, up from 58
  • Queens, 51, up from 30
  • Bronx, 16, up from 12
  • Staten Island 7, down from 9

In October, two Molotov cocktails were thrown at a Riverdale Synagogue on the eve of Yom Kippur. Three individuals, two adults and one youth have been arrested and were the first to be indicted under the New York State Hate Crimes Law. At this time, the prosecutions of the three are in progress.

In September, a Jewish male was beaten and slashed with a box cutter by two youths while walking from Rosh Hashanah services in Brooklyn. The youths shouted anti-Semitic epithets during the attack.

In April, a letter containing anti-Semitic remarks and swastikas was mailed to a Staten Island synagogue. The headline stated "In the name of the white race, a declaration of independence from Jewish tyranny."

  • Rockland, 4, up from 1
  • Westchester, 20, up from 12

In October, swastikas and "Kill the Jews" were scrawled on a wall at Ryeneck Middle School.


  • 35, up from 29 (except Rockland and Westchester)

In July, a family in Penfield received a series of harassing and threatening anti-Semitic phone calls.

Binghamton University experienced a rash of anti-Semitic incidents in the fall when a vandal or vandals destroyed Jewish property and scrawled numerous swastikas in residence halls.

Long Island

  • 147, up from 139

EDITORS NOTE: To arrange interviews with experts, contact ADL Media Relations by e-mail or call (212) 885-7749.

Related Article:
Anti-Semitic Incidents Rise Slightly in U.S. 2000 Increase Linked to Mideast Conflict

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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