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Anti-Semitic incidents on rise in Wisconsin's middle and high schools, report says

Posted at 5:35 PM, Mar 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-24 18:36:05-04

MILWAUKEE — Anti-semetic events are on the rise in Wisconsin schools. That’s according to the Milwaukee Jewish Federation.

It is a disturbing trend that continues.

The Milwaukee Jewish Federation reports a slight dip in antisemitic incidents overall in the state, but within the same report, some more troubling trends are noted. That includes a significant year-to-year growth in Wisconsin schools from 2020 to 2021.

“Unfortunately, what we’re seeing in Wisconsin matches what we’re seeing in the broader country and broader world quite frankly,” said Brian Schupper, Board Chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council.

Schupper chairs the federation’s Jewish Community Relations Council. He said the numbers are staggering.

According to the JCRC’s audit of antisemitic incidents, reported instances within Wisconsin schools increased 80% between 2020 and 2021.

Antisemitic events on social media increased by 30%.

Brian Schupper, Board Chair, Jewish Community Relations Council

“On the one hand, it’s extremely depressing when you see that. On the other hand, this is a generation that’s extremely receptive to understanding how things might be. They're open to new ideas and what note,” Schupper said.

The council notes it’s careful about deeming incidents “antisemitic.”

“We’re had some pretty rigorous conversations of whether something is deemed antisemitic and by and large, we’re pretty conservative labeling something. We’d rather err on the side of caution beside we don’t use the term lightly,” Schupper said.

The federation hopes this report allows society to look at an opportunity to make things better for everyone.

“What I think a report like this is, is a clearing call that this is our there and an invitation to the community saying we’re not going to accept it,” Schupper said.

A full report will be released Thursday night, alongside a town hall discussing it.


• Middle School and High School activity (80% increase)

• Covid-19 and pandemic conspiracies or comparisons (46% increase)

• Holocaust minimalization and comparisons (30% increase)

• Social media activity (30% increase)

• Harassment, threats, and assaults (5% increase)

• Pejorative references to Israel and Zionism in an antisemitic context (5% increase)

• Expression (3% decrease)

• Conspiracy theories (21% decrease)

• College and University activity (42% decrease)

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