Current News



Massachusetts antisemitic incidents spike, New England hits record high: 'Simply stunning'

Rick Sobey, Boston Herald on

Published in News & Features

Antisemitic incidents across the region reportedly spiked last year, especially after the Hamas terror attacks as antisemitic acts soared to a record high.

The Anti-Defamation League recorded a total of 440 antisemitic incidents in Massachusetts last year, nearly triple the 152 reported incidents in 2022.

ADL’s annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents recorded a total of 623 antisemitic incidents in the New England region (all the New England states except for Connecticut) last year — more than triple the 204 incidents in 2022.

The 623 incidents of assault, harassment, and vandalism last year is the highest number of antisemitic incidents ever recorded in the region. The ADL Audit of Antisemitic Incidents also reported a dramatic spike of 351 antisemitic acts across the region following the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks.

“The numbers are simply stunning,” said Ron Fish, ADL New England’s interim regional director. “We have observed a significant rise of incidents, followed by a surge, followed now by a tsunami.

“Behind each tracked data point is a family, a synagogue, a school, or a child who has been targeted for hate, simply because of their Jewish identity,” Fish added. “This is intolerable in New England as it is anywhere in the country.”

The regional 205% increase in antisemitic incidents outpaced the 140% increase reported across the country. Nationally, ADL recorded 8,873 antisemitic incidents last year, the highest total since ADL started tracking such data in 1979.

In Massachusetts, the total of 440 reported antisemitic incidents was a 189% increase, also outpacing the increase nationally. Vandalism incidents increased by 70% (139 incidents last year), and harassment acts spiked by 344% (293 incidents). Massachusetts recorded eight assaults, doubling the number recorded in 2022.

The Bay State recorded the fifth-highest number of incidents per state in the country following California (1,266), New York (1,218), New Jersey (830), and Florida (463).


“We call upon everyone who cares about living in a decent society to unite and stop this rise in anti-Jewish hate,” Fish said. “Antisemitism is not a Jewish problem. It is a societal problem. We can only solve it together.”

A total of 127 cities and towns in Massachusetts saw at least one antisemitic incident last year, an increase from 71 towns in 2022. Included in the count are antisemitic assaults, incidents of white supremacist propaganda, incidents in K-12 schools, and vandalism of Jewish institutions.

Antisemitic incidents in New England took place in a variety of locations, including a greater than fivefold increase on college campuses and nearly a doubling of incidents reported in non-Jewish K-12 schools.

Across the country, there was a significant spike in antisemitic bomb threats, targeting synagogues in the fall.

“The massive volume of incidents we documented in 2023 took many forms, including bomb threats and swatting campaigns, all aimed at terrorizing the community by disrupting services and activities at synagogues and other Jewish institutions across the country,” said Oren Segal, VP of the ADL Center on Extremism.

Segal added, “Our tracking of a swatting network enabled ADL to offer crucial intelligence to law enforcement, ensuring accountability for perpetrators, while also preemptively alerting targeted communities and mitigating potential harm.”

ADL is calling on governor’s offices to create their own state-level versions of the White House’s National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism — an effort to address antisemitism from across the political spectrum.


©2024 MediaNews Group, Inc. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


blog comments powered by Disqus