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Antisemitic incidents in Colorado reached historic levels in 2023, ADL reports

Star of David_synagogue in Bucharest, Romania
Posted at 2:58 PM, Apr 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-16 16:58:57-04

DENVER — Colorado saw a historic high in the number of reported antisemitic incidents in 2023, according to new data released Tuesday by Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The state is ranked 13th in the United States for the number of these incidents last year. In 2022, an ADL audit found 71 incidents in Colorado but 2023 saw 198, according to the newly released data.

Colorado 5yr Antisemitic Incident Trends.jpg

At the national level in 2023, the number of reported antisemitic incidents rose to the historic level of 8,873, which is a 140% increase from 2022, according to the ADL. At the time, that was the highest year for these kinds of reports since ADL began tracking the data in 1979.

However, antisemitic incidents reported in Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming in 2023 soared by nearly 200% and outpaced the national spike, according to ADL. Of the 242 reported incidents in those three states, 198 occurred in Colorado.

"The staggering increase in reported antisemitic incidents in 2023 is alarming," ADL Mountain States Regional Director Scott Levin said in a statement. "Unfortunately, it only tells a part of the story. Behind each reported incident is a Jewish individual who was personally targeted with harm because of their identity, or a Jewish institution that was targeted because it is a place where Jewish people congregate and pray."

Antisemitic incidents in united states 2014-2023

Levin stressed that this can range from a swastika in a school to a bomb threat at a synagogue.

"These stories must not be forgotten or overlooked," he said. "It is unacceptable that hatred of Jews continues to grow at a dangerous pace. We need everyone to recognize antisemitism for the true threat it is not only to Jews, but to our entire society. The Jewish community cannot fight this hate alone."

The ADL listed some of the reports out of Colorado, which included three cases of assault, 150 cases of harassment and 45 cases of vandalism, including the below examples:

  • At least eight Jewish institutions were targeted with antisemitic bomb threat hoaxes.
  • An offensive term was written on the door of a bathroom at a school.
  • A student physically assaulted a classmate and said antisemitic slurs.
  • Mezuzot (small decorative cases containing parchment with biblical verses that many Jewish people attach to their doorposts) were ripped from the door frames of several Jewish students at the University of Denver and pork products were glued to a Jewish student’s door.
  • A rabbi was heckled with threatening statements including, “We all know where you live, rabbi,” while leaving a city council meeting where a resolution in support of Israel was being considered

The ADL created an interactive map that details these and other incidents from around the country.

ADL reports more than 400 antisemitic incidents in Mountain States region amid Israel-Hamas war

Following the attacks in Israel in October, the ADL recorded 5,204 antisemitic acts between then and the end of 2023 alone, which totaled more than all of 2022. All of 2023 saw more anti-Jewish incidents than the past three years combined, ADL reported.

us map adl.jpg

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ADL: 400 antisemitic incidents in Mountain States region amid Israel-Hamas war

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The states with the most recorded cases were California, New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Massachusetts. Together, they accounted for 48% of total incidents in the country in 2023.


"Antisemitism is nothing short of a national emergency, a five-alarm fire that is still raging across the country and in our local communities and campuses,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “Jewish Americans are being targeted for who they are at school, at work, on the street, in Jewish institutions and even at home. This crisis demands immediate action from every sector of society and every state in the union."

To report a hate crime to the U.S. Department of Justice, click here.

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