With a general rise in antisemitic violence last year, instances of antisemitism have also been on the rise in work and education settings, something the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is closely monitoring according to senior commission members who were guests on Monday of a virtual panel discussion held by the Brandeis Center.
EEOC commissioners Andrea Lucas and Keith Sonderling gave a presentation that included statistics on workplace and educational antisemitism, as well as the laws that protect workers against acts of antisemitism and harassment about their Judaism.
Lucas highlighted some of the statistics, including that one out of four American Jews reports having been a victim of antisemitism, according to a study by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), with 39 percent responding that they had to change their behavior to limit activities and conceal their Jewishness.
Another statistic Lucas spoke about was that according to a Brandeis Center study, 65 percent of Jewish students say that they have felt unsafe and 50 percent have hidden their Jewish identity on campus, with one in three Jewish students reporting that they’ve personally experienced antisemitism.
“These are horrifying statistics. And even worse, to some degree is that the general public does not seem to be aware of these concerns, or at least at the same level that American Jews do,” said Lucas.
Only 60 percent of the general public viewed antisemitism as a problem, as opposed to 90 percent of Jews, and less than 50 percent of non-Jews said that it was growing, according to the AJC survey, compared to 80 percent among American Jews.
Lucas pointed to the number of incidents of workplace antisemitism that made the news last year, including antisemitic posts by a Google executive; another executive in Utah tying antisemitic conspiracy theories to the coronavirus and vaccinations; and a government commerce director in Philadelphia resigning after news broke of him creating a hostile work environment with antisemitic remarks spanning many years.