Jewish man in Kippah
According to the American Jewish Committee’s 2019 survey, American Jews sometimes avoid wearing kippahs or other religious markers in public.

Nearly one in three American Jews feel safer hiding their religion from the rest of us.

A just-released American Jewish Committee study has revealed that a significant number of Jews now intentionally avoid wearing visible markers like skullcaps or Star of David necklaces in public, revealing a not-so-subtle shift in worries about anti-Semitic attacks following the massacre of 11 worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

“It’s been a rough year, and it’s been an eye-opening and awakening year,” said American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris. “Perhaps there was a time when some Jewish institutions … felt somehow more or less insulated from [anti-Semitic attacks]. The fact that the attacks took place in Pittsburgh and Poway triggered a feeling that we’re all at risk everywhere, equally — it can happen anywhere.”

Hate Crimes, Anti-Semitism on the Rise

The survey of more than 1,200 Jews nationwide found eighty-four percent believe anti-Semitism in the US has risen in the last five years. Nearly one in five reported being targets of anti-Semitic remarks online, compared to a quarter that experienced such comments either in person or through the mail or over the phone.

via AJC’s 2019 Survey of American Jewish Attitudes about Antisemitism.

Just two percent of respondents admitted to being physically attacked due to their faith.

Normally focused on anti-Semitism worldwide, this marks the first year the American Jewish Committee thought to ask its US respondents the following: “Do you ever avoid certain places, events or situations out of concern for your safety or comfort as a Jew?”

One-quarter admitted they did.

“We never thought some of the questions asked in those surveys in Europe might one day be very pertinent to the United States,” Harris said. “ There was always the sense that it was there and not here.”

What’s more, one-third of American Jews also reported being affiliated with a Jewish institution targeted with vandalism, threats or attacks. Well over half reported freshly hired security guards or police posted outside their synagogues, and nearly one in four said fellow members had been trained in how to respond to potential attacks.

“The Guard Rails are Down”

Pitted against the backdrop of security requests from synagogues nearly quadrupling in the wake of the Pittsburgh shooting, the survey also revealed American Jews worry equally about anti-Semitism attacks from far right, far left and Muslim extremist sources. Notably, a whopping 49% of survey respondents said that the far-right posed a ‘very serious’ antisemitic threat in the United States today.

Sadly, this hesitance to show faith in the public sphere is understandable. Hate crimes, particularly against Jews, are on the rise. In 2016, Jews were targeted in over 50 percent of all religious hate crimes.

“We’ve seen what’s happening in the United States as part of a larger phenomenon of growing anti-Semitism worldwide,” says Harris. “Even a few years ago, things that would never have been said about Jews — maybe because of greater sensitivity to the Holocaust, or just a sense that in a liberal democracy we don’t say such things about other groups — those guard rails are down. … Liberal democracy itself is in crisis in many parts of the Western world. So those barriers that kind of contained the spread of anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred — those barriers are being weakened.”

Unfortunately, we’re left with more questions than answers. What do you think might account for the so-called weakening of anti-Semitic barriers in this country in recent years? Shouldn’t every American be able to freely express their faith without fear of reprisal?

What does it say about the current state of affairs in our country if American Jews feel compelled to hide their faith?

34 comments

  1. david says:

    It’s really sad to think the world forgets so easily how terrible this really is. All the human progress hinged on the emotional choices made by irresponsible people. I am anti death, no matter what form it takes. These words: Live Life and Live it to the Full does not mention death at all. Only God knows how the mind of the murderous works. The interest in this church name is because of its anti war, under the 2nd amendment.

    1. Chris Ross says:

      We know who the real terrorists are behind every terrorist group… posing as muslims and arabs etc (AlQaeda-ISIS-Mossad-CIA-Mi6-Hamas-Muslim brotherhood-Hezbollah- proxy war regimes in Africa, Mexico etc.) While they play the victim. Creating wars, poisoning christian wells, child trafficking, satanic rituals etc. There is a very good reason why GOD cursed them out of Jerusalem for life. And Why Jesus Christ named them the synagogue of satan in revelation 2d .

      JUST A FEW:
      ST. JUSTIN, martyr stated in 116 A. D. “The Jews were behind all the persecutions of the Christians. They wandered through the country everywhere hating and undermining the Christian faith.”
      DIO CASSIUS. Second century Roman historian. Describing the savage Jewish uprising against the Roman empire that has been acknowledged as the turning point downward in the course of that great state-form: “The Jews were destroying both Greeks and Romans. They ate the flesh of their victims, made belts for themselves out of their entrails, and daubed themselves with their blood… In all, 220,000 men perished in Cyrene and 240,000 in Cyprus
      H. H. BEAMISH, N.Y. speech, 1937 “Communism is Judaism. The Jewish Revolution in Russia was in 1918.”
      HILARY COTTER, author of Cardinal Minszenty, The Truth About His Real “Crime,” page 6 “Communism and Judaism are one and the same.”
      GREGORY XIII. Declared that Jews “continue to plot horrible crimes” against Christians “with daily increasing audacity.”
      GREGORY VIII. Forbade Jews to have power over Christians, in a letter to Alfonso VI of Castile. GREGORY IX. Condemned the TALMUD as containing “every kind of vileness and blasphemy against Christian doctrine.”
      GREGORY I (‘The Great’). Protested wholesale circumcision of Christian slaves by Jewish traders, who monopolized the slave trade in Europe and the Middle East and were widely suspected of supplying white girls to Oriental and African buyers.
      SYLVESTER I. Condemned Jewish anti-Christian activity.
      CARDINAL MINDSZENTY, of Hungary quoted in B’nai B’rith Messenger, January 28, 1949 “The troublemakers in Hungary are the Jews… they demoralize our country and they are the leaders of the revolutionary gang that is torturing Hungary.”
      A. N. FIELD, in Today’s Greatest Problem “Once the Jewishness of Bolshevism is understood, its otherwise puzzling features become understandable. Hatred of Christianity, for instance, is not a Russian characteristic; it is a Jewish one.”
      HENRY FORD in (The Dearborn Independent, 12-19 February 1921 “Jews have always controlled the business . . . The motion picture influence of the United States and Canada . . . is exclusively under the control, moral and financial, of the Jewish manipulators of the public mind.”

      1. Stan Greenspan says:

        Wow, and who would have thought someone with these kind of opinions could read. Learn something new every day.
        Suggest you take your racist comments someplace else, perhaps a small island in a big ocean.

  2. david says:

    Interesting though the book Matthew states to do your alms in secret.You really should read it once in a while.

    1. Lionheart says:

      Thank you David, but I’ve read the whole gory book about that bloodthirsty, megalomaniacal, infanticidal, egotistical mythical deity, that’s one of the reasons I am now a secular humanist.

      🦁♥️

      1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

        Bullies pick on people who don’t fight back. There’s nothing anti-spiritual or anti-religious about defending ourselves. Jewish people have always been easy marks for bullies. I wear a dangling pentagram earring with a skull and crossbones pendant above it. I’ve received a few compliments, and a couple of grimaces, to which I only laugh. Might would be persecutors be afraid of the stainless steel horned God ring with raised horns on my middle finger? Take my word for it, they have good reason to be. The last thing I ordered from Amazon this week was a black t shirt that reads Satan Is Happy With My Progress. I’m not even a Satanist. However, I do like to mess with prejudiced people. Of course, I wouldn’t wear it to services of a Christian Church …or would I? It will be here soon, and Ive been having a lot of fun thinking about all the places I’m going to wear it to. Of course, I do have a lot of faith in the horned God on my middle finger, both raised, and in a fist .

        1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

          I know of no words to express my extreme level of gratitude in finding this blog again, on my new android. Another new one, that I got last month.ULC has too many blogs, and I guess I had temporarily forgot how to use those ancient writing tools called pen and paper to keep records of websites and passwords. Also, last month I did the unimaginable. I went a whole month without internet service. It’s hard to believe I lived through it. I got a free government phone with a thousand free minutes a month. I’ve still got the phone and the free minutes, but this month (and always forevermore) I also paid them forty bucks for unlimited data for the internet. I learned the hard way that watching T.V. won’t cut the mustard anymore, for an internet junkie like me. And I can’t survive without this blog iether. Of course, I also have a T.V. and movie app.

        2. Lionheart says:

          “Satan is happy with my progress”
          🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

          Funniest thing I’ve read in quite a while! Thank you Carl.

          I too wear a pentagram (not inverted though) for exactly those same reasons. It tends to mess with the heads that it attracts, and needs to. It’s like a magnet to the pious, the unfree, and those with closed minds.

          🦁❤️

  3. Secretary3rd says:

    Being a heather myself with a religion that by many standards is far off based I also do not wear my religion on my sleeve.
    It is not that America is becoming more anti-Semitic as it is that there are more people whose religion attacks anyone not of their beliefs. Attacking anyone not just by words but by physically damage property or Jewish people themselves. An example would be the Catholic faith who in their sermons who in the death of Jesus was contribute to the Jews. It has been going on for centuries. Then you have the Middle East religions when not killing among themselves attack anyone from Israel.
    If you grow up in a religion that protracts everyone else as a pig and ape and your rewarded to enter Heaven if you kill an Infidel. Striking out at an easy target would be your goal.
    Christian faiths also have their problems. With so many that are not Catholic there is a lot of infighting.

  4. Douglas Andersen says:

    Doesn’t the BIBLE say that G*D will call “all” of the Jewish people back to their home lands? If so than what is happen will increase to the point where there will be very few Jew even here in America , that will be a very sad day to see.

    1. Roger Glasgow says:

      The israel of God is those in yeshuah , not by the flesh but by the spirit , but by the end of the olams every knee shall kneel every head shall bow and every tongue will confess that yeshuah is lord , the missal c age ended in 70’AD ,

  5. Colleen Kelly says:

    This breaks my heart. How has our world come back to this? We live in a scary, scary world.

    1. Jay R. says:

      Amen – and thank you, Colleen. It is beyond scary in so many ways.

      1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

        It’s the only world wev’e got, so make the best of it.

  6. Tiffany says:

    Personally, I’m fine no matter what a persons religion is. It’s far more important to me if you’re a decent human being.

    1. Jay R. says:

      Well said, Tiffany! I could not agree more – people are people – regardless of race or religion.

    2. Brent says:

      Agreed, thanks for saying it.

    3. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

      I saw a bumper sticker in my Azuregreen catalog that read: God, save me from your good people. I think I’ll get one.

  7. gene says:

    What is the reason so many Jews in the USA vote for Democrat candidates who do nothing for them election after election.

    1. Clarke Alexander says:

      Most politicians do nothing for those who voted for them. The politician is bought and paid for my their wealthy donors. Follow the money and you will find who owns and operates the politician.

  8. Clarke Alexander says:

    It is tough being a Jew. Throughout history the Jews have been referred to as Gods Chosen. From their history I sure would not want be be Gods chosen. Every religious group has it’s extremes and anyone on the extreme are discriminated against especially when their religion has extreme or odd practices like dress, head gear, unkempt beards, etc.

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom says:

      Everyone is persecuted against by someone. It sucks, but that’s a the way it goes. The best thing about it is they can only kill us one time, and we weren’t going to live forever anyway . So ignore nay Sayers, be true to yourself, be authentic, and go for the gusto! I’ll see you on the other side of the light, and if it wasn’t a good idea you can tell me about it then.

  9. Jules Xavier says:

    Some groups of people are more irritating than others. Pretending we’re all identical is not enlightened. White flight is unfortunate, but not evil. Both major political parties in the USA refuse to accept science over ideology. The right rejects almost everything. The left rejects real differences in gender, ethnicity, religion. Both sides resent you for studying your way out of agreement with them. Both sides want you to just fall in line. However, the pathology of the right is more likely to get us all killed than the pathology of the left.

  10. Ron Stark says:

    Having been raised Jewish we have known, from early times, to “wear” our religion on the inside. Anti Semitic sentiment is NOT new. Wearing Judaism is simply asking for trouble. Hurst a short time ago we were “Christ killer” when in fact it was the Romans who crucified Jesus. A Jew! There are many who don’t know Jesus was Jewish and so were the disciples! They all spoke A dialect of ancient Hebrew. And he was killed for being who he was. When are we gonna learn?

    1. Chris Ross says:

      Jesus was no jew, nor was his disciples. They all spoke the main language of Greek, including the romans. The original New Testament bible was greek. Old Hebrew language was invented by reversing the greek language like the arab way of reading. Biblical tribes Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan and Naphtal, Manasseh… were Aegean Greek tribes. HEBREW is GREEK says Liguist Hebrew Professor, Yahuda.

  11. Larry Goodfried says:

    Your story about Jews hiding their identity is a load of garbage. Shame on you

    1. Stan Greenspan says:

      Really? Do you wear a kippa in public? Yes, people will hide the fact that they are Jewish. Look at the attacks in New York that happen on a nearly daily basis.

    2. Chris Ross says:

      cryptic jews are well documented in every country they have infiltrated and destroyed.. Jewmerica is no different.
      They are behind all secret societies like freemasons, The Klu Klux klan ,terrorist groups, cia, behind African and muslim immigration, white genocide, Nazism, fasizm, feminism, LGBT, Transgenderism, communism, etc. they control all religious institutes claiming they are muslim or catholic or christian. Just to name a few.

      1. stan greenspan says:

        I think you forgot post-nasal drip. 💧

  12. Mark Marcarian says:

    Satan is taking a mighty foothold. We must all wear the full armor of God. Let’s destroy evil with love and kindness.

  13. Stgan Greenspan says:

    “Just two percent of respondents admitted to being physically attacked due to their faith.” With six million Jews in the United States, that translates out to 120,000 people attacked because they are Jewish. This is an epidemic of hate. The word “just” does not describe over 100,000 people attacked in what is considered a tolerant nation. Any wonder why people would hide the overt signs of religion?

  14. Oh Mo says:

    Lordy, how I hate those opinion polls writers try to pass of as hard data. I asked 100 people if they thought religious persecution of gays was rising, dropping, or about the same. Like the survey quoted in the blather, the responses are meaningless beyond being the opinions of 100% of the participants. 🙄

  15. Bob Velasquez says:

    I did not read these comments but, simply stated, anybody that allows this divisive behavior is to blame.

  16. Albert A Hernandez says:

    If a Muslim can wear a burqa, a hijab, a shemagh, or a turban, then a Jew should be able to wear a kippah without being persecuted. However, the person of God doesn’t have to wear any specific device or look a certain way in order to exhibit his faith or religion. What’s important is “the full Armor of God” as Mr. Mark Marcarian states. Strife between churches, religions, and people, only feeds the monster of hate. That school shooting in California yesterday where two teens were killed by another teen was caused by hate. Then he killed himself (he died today). Three souls died. They are now in eternity. Let’s be careful how we treat each other, you don’t know the demons that other person may be carrying in his head. As Mark said, “with love and kindness.”

    Albert A. Hernandez, D. Div., Ph.D.

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