The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

1995 Audit of
Anti-Semitic Incidents

Definitions & Data Collection

The annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents is a record of reported incidents only. The Audit depends on the voluntary reporting of anti-Semitic incidents to the League for Human Rights through B'nai Brith offices and the nationwide B'nai Brith Lodge network. Recorded incidents may have been reported by victims directly to our offices, or may have been reported by other sources. Experts in the analysis of crime, including officers in police intelligence units, suggest that only a small percentage (in the neighbourhood of approximately 10%) of hate crimes or harassment are ever reported to any source. The situation is akin to spousal or child abuse, both of which are notoriously under-reported.

Reported incidents are documented and analyzed by League staff for corroboration, and to determine appropriate courses of action. Proper investigation is vital to determine whether reported incidents are indeed racially- motivated, and whether they are anti-Semitic in nature. For example, harassment of a Jewish person in the workplace may be real but may not be anti-Semitic. As well, while general pamphleteering by a hate group will be condemned by the League, and while the League will be actively involved in countering its effects, if such pamphleteering does not specifically target Jews, then for the purposes of the Audit, it will not be included as an anti-Semitic incident.

Finally, where an anti-Semitic mail campaign takes place, or where a number of Jewish businesses or people are targeted by one group or one individual for harassment or vandalism in a defined area over a defined period of time, such events are recorded as a single incident. Incidents are catalogued for the Audit in two broad categories:


Vandalism is defined as an act involving physical damage to property. It includes graffiti, swastikas, desecrations of cemeteries and synagogues, other property damage, arson and other criminal acts such as thefts and break-ins where an anti-Semitic motive can be determined.


Harassment includes anti-Semitic hate propaganda distribution, hate mail and verbal slurs or acts of discrimination against individuals. Death threats and bomb threats against individuals and property, as well as any kind of physical assault, are also included in this broader category.


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