A new survey conducted by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) found that while nearly nine in ten American Jews (88%) believe antisemitism in the U.S. today is a very serious (37%) or somewhat of a (51%) problem, only 63% of the general population agree, with 19% identifying it as a very serious problem and 43% saying it is somewhat of a problem.
Looking back over the past five years, more than four out of every five Jewish respondents (82%) say antisemitism has increased during that period, compared to only 43% of U.S. adults who say so, with 14% of Jews and 39% of U.S. adults saying it has stayed the same.
The AJC study was released on the eve of the second anniversary of the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh, when 11 worshippers were killed, is based on parallel surveys of American Jews and the general public in the United States.
The number of American Jews who say they have avoided certain places or events out of concern for their safety as Jews increased to one in three (31%) from one in four (25%) in the 2019 AJC survey. Fifty-five percent of Orthodox, 43% of Conservative, 33% of Reform, 32% of Reconstructionist, and 24% of Secular Jews answered yes in the 2020 survey to taking such preventative measures.
Twenty-four percent of American Jews say they have avoided publicly wearing, carrying, or displaying items that might identify them as Jews since the Tree of Life shooting in October 2018.
More than one in three American Jews (37%) reported being the target of an anti-Semitic incident, such as a physical attack or an anti-Semitic remark online or in person, by mail, or by phone, in the past five years. But, as in 2019, three-fourths of the Jewish respondents who were targeted (76% in 2020, 75% in 2019) did not report the incident. More than four in ten (43%) Jewish young people between the ages of 18 and 29 say they have either personally experienced antisemitism on a college campus or know someone who has.
While 53% of U.S. adults say they are familiar with the term antisemitism and know what it means, nearly half of Americans do not, with 21% saying they have never heard the word and 25% saying that, while they have heard it, they are unsure what it means, AJC found in its new national survey.