Antisemitic incidents reported in Minnesota tripled last year

Rally against anti-Semitism at Temple Israel
More than one thousand attend "Minnesota: No Hate, No Fear" rally against anti-Semitism at Temple Israel in Minneapolis on Jan. 7, 2020.
Matt Sepic | MPR News file

The Anti-Defamation League is reporting a sharp increase in antisemitic incidents across the country, including in the Midwest.

The ADL says reports of harassment and vandalism tripled in Minnesota, from 23 in 2020 to 75 last year.

Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, says the figures track with FBI statistics that show a rise in hate crimes.

"How corrosive of democracy that people are exercising their opinions by attacking other people or by launching antisemitic attacks, sometimes as personally vicious as assault,” Hunegs said.

Minnesota incidents last year include a swastika spray-painted on a tree at a Minnetonka synagogue, threatening messages sent to other synagogues and individuals, and the distribution of neo-Nazi flyers.

At the same time, Hunegs says support from the wider community and law enforcement has been strong.

"I want people to recognize that the vast majority of Americans and our neighbors and our friends are people of goodwill with whom we're making significant progress in any number of different areas,” he said.

Grow the Future of Public Media

MPR News is supported by Members. Gifts from individuals power everything you find here. Make a gift of any amount today to become a Member!