Reported antisemitic acts up 494% from 2015-2022 | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Reported antisemitic acts up 494% from 2015-2022  

MILWAUKEE — Hate group activity increased 83% from 2021 to 2022, while incidents increased 225% on college campuses and 22% at K-12 schools in Wisconsin, according to a report released last month by the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation. 

The 2022 Audit of Antisemitic Incidents — representing the seventh consecutive year of elevated activity — was presented by the JCRC at a town hall meeting at the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center.  

Trends in the audit include:   

  • Hate group activity (83% increase) 
  • Conspiracy theories (40% increase) 
  • K-12 activity (22% increase) 
  • College activity (225% increase) 
  • Vandalism (111% increase) 

Between 2021 and 2022, there was a decrease in “harassment/threats/assaults,” social media activity, and expression. 

From 2015-22, reported antisemitic incidents in Wisconsin are up 494%. The JCRC uses 2015 as a benchmark for the recent elevation in reported incidents. The Wisconsin trend closely follows reported increases of all forms of hate and bias nationwide, according to the JCRC. 

The 2022 audit includes 101 reported and corroborated incidents, which reflects a 6.3% increase from 2021.  

“What we’re seeing is people saying things out loud that they used to whisper,” said Miryam Rosenzweig, president and CEO of Milwaukee Jewish Federation. “It’s very dangerous. The majority of incidents are not done by people who would identify themselves as part of a hate group. Through repeated exposure, hate speech and hate crime become normalized, and hateful behavior accelerates quickly. When you see the rise of antisemitism, it means that you’re also seeing the rise of hate speech and targeting of other minority communities at the same time.”  

Each reported incident is corroborated and reviewed, according to the JCRC. 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. 

“Our goal is not to demonize or condemn, but rather to educate in order to create communities where everyone understands and feels a sense of safety and belonging,” said JCRC Board Chair Rabbi Jessica Barolsky. “We are grateful that many people of all different faith groups have come together locally and nationally to denounce hate speech directed at Jewish people.”  

The JCRC reports that it 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 says it strongly encourages individuals and institutions to report all incidents, and ensures full confidentiality:  

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The 2022 audit includes 101 reported and corroborated incidents, which reflects a 6.3% increase from 2021.