High and middle school incidents are up 80%; Annual audit on state antisemitism found increases and decreases in categories | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

High and middle school incidents are up 80%; Annual audit on state antisemitism found increases and decreases in categories 


MILWAUKEE — Antisemitic incidents at Wisconsin high schools and middle schools increased 80% from 2020 to 2021, while incidents on social media went up 30%, according to the Jewish Community Relations Council of Milwaukee Jewish Federation.  

The findings of the JCRC’s 2021 Audit of Antisemitic Incidents included: 

  • High school and middle school activity (80% increase)
  • Covid-19 and pandemic conspiracies or comparisons (46% increase)
  • Social media activity (30% increase)
  • Holocaust minimalization and comparisons (30% increase)
  • Pejorative references to Israel and Zionism in an antisemitic context (5% increase)
  • Harassment, threats and assaults (5% increase)

Between 2020 and 2021, there was a decrease in expression, conspiracy theories and college incidents, according to the JCRC. While the audit indicates an overall 4% decrease in reported antisemitic incidents from 2020-2021, reported antisemitic incidents in Wisconsin are up 459% from 2015-2021.   

“Please remember that this is a snapshot of antisemitism in Wisconsin and some decreases should not distract from the overarching upward trend of incidents, specifically the 459% increase in reported antisemitic incidents from 2015-2021,” said JCRC Director Kai Gardner Mishlove.   

Each reported incident is corroborated and reviewed before any action is taken. The audit is reviewed by the JCRC’s Antisemitism & Constitutional Law Task Force and the JCRC Board before the final approval process of the JCRC Community Council. 

“The call to action should be to speak out whenever we hear or see antisemitism or any form of bigotry or hatred; to form alliances with neighbors and particularly other marginalized groups; to advocate for other targeted groups with the understanding that there is enough compassion for multiple groups; to lift up voices of leadership that reflect the values that we embrace,” said JCRC Board Chair Brian Schupper.  

The JCRC works year-round to respond to and prevent incidents through ongoing interfaith and intercultural relations, ongoing efforts fighting bigotry against all people, and its Hours Against Hate initiative. The organization encourages individuals and institutions to report all incidents, and ensures full confidentiality:   

  • Report online: MilwaukeeJewish.org/Antisemitism
  • Email: JCRC@MilwaukeeJewish.org
  • Call: 414-390-5736

“We must not let antisemitism or our response to it define us — we have to celebrate the many areas of our community that are thriving,” said Miryam Rosenzweig, President and CEO of Milwaukee Jewish Federation. “We must work together to unite, strengthen and support not only the Milwaukee Jewish community, but all communities in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin.”