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Holocaust Memorial desecrated as survey shows antisemitism on the rise

Holocaust Memorial desecrated as survey shows antisemitism on the rise
Holocaust Memorial desecrated as survey shows antisemitism on the rise 02:19

BOSTON - The New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston was desecrated over the weekend, as a new survey released by the American Jewish Committee shows antisemitism on the rise. 

The report is one of the largest ever combined surveys of American Jews and the U.S. public. It shows an alarming rise of hatred against Jews in the country. 

"Ninety percent of American Jews look at antisemitism as a very serious or serious problem...those are extraordinary numbers," said Rob Leikind, New England Director of the AJC. "Eighty-five percent of American Jews surveyed under 30, described having experienced antisemitism online." 

The survey found a 10% increase of Jewish respondents who consider themselves less secure in the country compared to a year ago, with more anti-Semitic attacks happening across the country and right here in Massachusetts. 

"You have incidents from a Rabbi being stabbed in Brighton to a swastika being written on the wall in school," said Leikind. 

On Friday night, a group of people kicked the glass panels paying tribute to the victims of the Holocaust at the Boston memorial.

Boston City Council President Ed Flynn says it's been vandalized in the past and the attack is unacceptable. "They didn't necessarily cause any damage, but they insulted the memorial," said Flynn. 

He adds the city is seeing more hate crimes. "I do feel like it's getting worse even here in Boston, the most progressive city in the country," Flynn said. 

Celine Sanborn of Cambridge has experienced antisemitism herself. "I remember my second week of work I had the director of corporate relations who told me that he didn't care about Jews unless they were giving money," Sanborn said. "And that really upset me." 

Both Sanborn and Leikind now have guards at their temples. 

"It was a place you would go and walk in and feel comfortable and safe. Today during prayer there's usually an armed guard there," explained Leikind. 

Through the hatred and violence though, the community is coming together for the better, mobilizing with one another to spread awareness. 

Leikind said, "We in the Jewish community are working overtime to educate and take concrete steps." 

The incident at the New England Holocaust Memorial is still under investigation. Police believe they will catch the culprits who desecrated the memorial thanks to security cameras. 

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