Study: anti-Semitic incidents on the rise in Massachusetts
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A startling new report released Thursday showed an increase in anti-Semitic incidents across New England, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
In breaking down the numbers from the ADL, in 2022, 204 anti-Semitic incidents were reported across New England. The Bay State had the most reported incidents in the region with 152 incidents. We spoke with the interim regional director for the ADL in New England, Peggy Shukur, who told us that is in line with what she has seen over the past few years.
“A lot of my job involves hearing from people who have been impacted by this type of hate. They report these incidents to ADL and I wasn’t surprised to see the numbers really verify what I’ve seen happening all year,” Shukur noted.
Shukur told us that a rise in white extremist propaganda and events has been a contributing factor in the rise in anti-Semitism. In 2022, 465 white supremacist propaganda were reported in Massachusetts. In the same year, 25 white supremacist events took place across the Bay State. She said while these numbers rank the second highest in the nation, they’re not the only factor in the spread of anti-Semitism.
“We’re also seeing a number of incidents that take place in schools, in public places, with defacement and vandalism, sometimes even assault,” Shukur explained.
Local organizations in western Massachusetts are hoping to fight back against these statistics. Bobby Naimark with the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts told us that they’ve been holding outreach events in an attempt to bring the public together.
“We continue to be part of the Greater Springfield Interfaith Council. We’re constantly in touch with our interfaith partners in that organization and I think that is really a great thing to be able to reach out, whether it’s in the Jewish community itself or one of us needs to help comfort each other, whether you’re part of the Islamic community, the Christian community, or the Jewish community,” Naimark said.
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