NEW YORK CITY — A survey released just days before the anniversary of the shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue that killed 11 people reveals that many Jewish Americans avoid wearing things that may reveal their religious identity.
The American Jewish Committee (AJC), a Jewish advocacy organization, released the results of its survey Wednesday. It was conducted with 1,283 respondents over almost a month.
It found that nearly a third of those polled have “avoided publicly wearing, carrying or displaying things that might help people identify them as Jews.”
And a quarter of respondents said they avoid places, events or situations out of concern for their safety or comfort.
The statistics come nearly a year after a man opened fire in a synagogue in the historic Jewish neighborhood of Squirrel Hill during Saturday morning worship. The suspect is facing federal hate-crime charges.
And in April of this year — on the last day of Passover — a gunman killed one woman and wounded three others at Congregation Chabad in Poway, California. The injured included an 8-year-old girl and her uncle, who was visiting from Israel.
Those horrific incidents were among many other recent instances of anti-Semitism.
Last year had the third-highest totals for assault, harassment and vandalism against Jews since the Anti-Defamation League started tracking such incidents in 1979, according to the organization. There were a total of 1,879 attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions across the country, according to a report from the ADL.
The AJC survey suggests Jewish Americans are feeling the impact of these attacks. Nearly nine out of 10 say anti-Semitism is a current problem in the US, and 72% say they do not approve of the Trump administration’s handling of the threat, according to the survey.
“American Jews could not be clearer about the reality of anti-Semitism in the U.S.,” said AJC CEO David Harris. “This hatred is real, comes from multiple sources, and is growing. It needs to be taken seriously and dealt with in a sustained, multi-pronged response.”
The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.