Why Concentrating on One Subset of Jews Reveals the Hidden Truth Behind Antisemitism in America

According to the New York City Police Department, there were four antisemitic incidents in New York City in January 2021. That was out of a total of 18, meaning Jews were the victims in 22.22% of antisemitic hate crimes in NYC in January 2021. But January 2022 was a much different, and worse, story. Not only did hate crime incidents rise from 18 to 31, but antisemitism (Jew-Hatred) accounted for 15 of the 31 incidents. Almost half. Not great, Bob! But while those Jewish hate crime statistics reveal an ugly surface fact, they actually shed light on a far darker and more sinister truth behind antisemitism in America; Haredim (visibly Jewish Jews) are the victims in most of these crimes.

According to Pew Research, there are roughly 5.8 million Jewish adults in America, making up 2.4% of the overall adult population. However, as most American Jews know, secular Jews make up a significant portion of that percentage. In fact, completely secular Jews account for 0.6% of the American population, leaving 1.7% “religiously Jewish” Jews or 4.2 million Jewish adults.

However, not all Jews are the same, and not all “religiously Jewish” Jews are the same. The most “religiously Jewish” Jews are the Orthodox or Haredim. What separates the Haredim from all other Jews is that they are almost always “visibly Jewish” (for our purposes here, “Haredim” is the catchall term for Orthodox). These are the Jews that you see on the street and go, “Oh, a Jew.” They are usually in all black and white, wearing hats or kippot (yarmulkes), rocking peyot (side curls), and long beards. They account for 9% of the American Jewish population or about 520,000 in number. It is by concentrating on these 500,000+ strong that we can unravel the hidden truth behind antisemitism in America.

Antisemitism is a Major Problem in America

Most of the time when people read or hear about Jewish hate crime statistics, they think it is in reference to the general Jewish population. However, that is misleading. It is misleading because when we hear “antisemitism in America” we think of the incidents occurring to the 5.8 million Jews. But that is not the case. These cases are happening primarily to Haredim, to the 520,000. So our dominator for figuring out the frequency of antisemitic incidents is actually much smaller than what most believe. How much smaller and how much more frequent these incidents are is the hidden truth of antisemitism in America.

So how much antisemitism is there in America? That is our question. A question most people are either too lazy to quantify or too scared to calculate. But we must know this answer and use it as ammunition in the face of rising and rampant antisemitism in America.

Hearing that there were 8,263 hate crimes in 2020 according to the FBI Crime Data Explorer makes you want to shake your head as an American. And knowing that 2,871 of these hate crimes (35%) happened to black or African Americans gives credence to the claim that America is racist. But what does it mean? Given that there are 46.8 million black Americans, black Americans have a 0.0061% chance of being the victim of a hate crime in America.

That number needs to be much lower, which is why it garners so much attention. But the Jewish number is worse and is almost never discussed. So how much worse?

The Haredim Reveal the Hidden Truth of Antisemitism in America

Jews were the victims in 683 of the 1,244 anti-Religion hate crimes in 2020, good for a whopping 54.9% of all religion-based hate crimes, and 8% of the total. Poignantly, for those wanting to dismiss antisemitism in America, this means that whenever anybody has a beef with any religion in America, there is a better than average chance the problem is with Judaism or Jews.

But for Jews overall, this means they have a 0.012% chance of being the victim of a hate crime in America. Or for comparison’s sake; Jews are twice as likely to be the victim of a hate crime in America compared to black or African Americans.

But here is something that constantly gets lost in this discussion; the offenders know they are attacking Jews. How? Because they see a Jew or something Jewish and decide, “time to attack the Jew or Synagogue/Shul.” But most American Jews–roughly 91%–don’t have anything that tells a complete stranger on the street, “I’m a Jew.” Not so for Haredim. That is where we will find the hidden truth of antisemitism in America.

The Frequency of Antisemitism Against Visibly Jewish Jews Reveals the Hidden Truth of Antisemitism in America

If all antisemitic incidents were the same, our denominator would be the 5.8 million number. But people who attack Jews are not playing “Whack-a-Person,” just hoping to connect with a Jewish head. No. They know they are about to punch a Jew. Therefore, we are not working with 5.8 million as our denominator, but we are working with the Haredim number. The number for visibly Jewish Jews; 522,000. Using that 522,000 number reveals our actual percentage for antisemitism in America: .131%.

Let that sink in. For those that hate numbers, that means one Jew out of every 1,000 visible Jews will be the victim of a hate crime in America. That is the hidden truth of antisemitism in America in plain English; the Yiddish and Hebrew speakers are not welcome.

The Apples-to-Apples Comparison We All Need to Understand

Yes, antisemitism is happening in America. However, antisemitism is largely happening to a subsection of Jews, the Haredim, the visibly Jewish. That is why the comparison must be made to racist attacks against blacks. American blacks are attacked because they are visibly black. Yet, even though more than 90% of American Jews are not visibly Jewish, American Jews are twice as likely to be the victim of a hate crime than a black American.

But what if we made an apples-to-apples comparison? Visible Jews versus “visible” black/African Americans? If we compare those numbers, we find out Jews are 21 times more likely to be the victim of a hate crime in America than black Americans.

That is the ugly truth of antisemitism in America. Jews are hated. Fiercely hated. So much so the visibly Jewish are 21 times more likely to be the victim of a hate crime than a black American. But nobody cares. Nobody cares that Jew-Hatred is the reason for more than half of all religious-based hate crimes in America. Nobody cares because of volume. 683 hate crimes? That is not much in terms of the total number of hate crimes. Just 8% of the total (the lowest percentage ever).

So time to make every American Jew wildly uncomfortable:

What if all American Jews were visibly Jewish? What if it truly was the 5.8 million number? If we simply pretended all 5.8 million American Jews–Reform, Conservative, Spiritual, et alwere visibly Jewish and suffered antisemitism at the same rate? What would that number be?

7,598.

We would have had 7,598 antisemitic incidents in 2020 if all Jews were visibly Jewish. If all Jews were Haredim. 7,598 incidents in 2020. When there were only 8,263 total hate crimes in America in 2020. So what is the hidden truth behind antisemitism in America? Antisemitism would be much worse, but nobody knows we are all Jewish. That is the truth.