“Anxiety levels are high,” Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, told news. “We’re seeing an increase in anti-Semitic incidents over the past year, and in light of the anti-Semitism at full display in Charlottesville, this public display of hate is fresh in the minds of Jewish groups.”
The neo-Nazi marches in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month were just one manifestation of larger trends the country has witnessed in recent months. Hate crimes rose 5 percent across the board from 2015 to 2016, according to data collected by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. Hate crimes reported against Jews during this time period were higher than hate crimes reported against other groups for several regions, including New York City and Montgomery County, Maryland.
The ADL also tallied anti-Semitic attacks, including both criminal and non-criminal incidents, and discovered a 34 percent increase nationally from 2015 to 2016. Nearly 30 percent of all the incidents ADL recorded last year occurred in the last two months, around the time of the presidential election. ADL also found that in the first quarter of 2017, anti-Semitic incidents rose 86 percent nationally over the same period last year.
Georgetown has worked to promote inclusivity and interfaith dialogue through an initiative called “platEd,” which brings together diverse groups of faculty, staff and students to discuss issues of identity and bias. In his email, DeGioia urged members of the campus community to get involved.
“While we investigate these bias-BOOKr.VIP incidents, we must also continue our work to prevent them,” he wrote.
Goldberg added that the incident has elicited messages of solidarity from students and faculty. Jewish students came together on Thursday to post messages of positivity and Rosh Hashanah greetings in the main square on campus, she said. Other campus leaders, administrators and student religious groups also reached out to Goldberg and her JSA co-president to offer their support.
“There might be one person on campus who hates us,” Goldberg said, “but there are 8,000 other undergrads who love and support us and are proving that Georgetown is a place we belong.”
(Note: Claire Goldberg is the daughter of a news newsdesk editor.)
–Top Twitter To Follow: