Light in the Darkness: ADL Connecticut’s Work Pays Off

ADL is a national organization that works to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. With its Annual Audit tracking more than 2,000 incidents across the U.S. last year — the third-highest yearly total on record — ADL’s work is more imperative than ever. Below, Lisa Ratcliff, director of community engagement at our partner organization, ADL Connecticut, shares local and national ways ADL is continuing the fight against antisemitism and hate. 

ADL’s national Audit of Antisemitic Incidents for 2020 shows that antisemitic incidents remained at a historically high level across the United States— with 2,024 incidents of assault, harassment, and vandalism reported. However, we are pleased to report that ADL Connecticut’s local efforts are paying off: we saw a 35 percent reduction in statewide antisemitic incidents last year compared with the prior year.

“We have seen fewer incidents on college campuses and in schools,” noted ADL Connecticut Director Steve Ginsburg. “However, online harassment such as Zoom bombings is becoming an increasingly worrisome trend. It is not uncommon for antisemitism to surface during complex and troubling times…. it has so often been the canary in the coal mine of hatred,” he added. “We need to be hypervigilant about hate in all its forms.”

ADL Connecticut is tirelessly conducting educational trainings, informative programming, and advocacy work across our state. A few examples:

  • With support from your Federation, we recently held three virtual Teen Leadership Summits on Antisemitism. These interactive webinars featured teen trainers who have been mentored by ADL staff on how to share their personal stories of addressing antisemitism. Through the summits, dozens of Connecticut teens learned that they are not alone and developed the skills and confidence to stand up to antisemitism, speak out as school leaders, and build personal resilience and pride in their Jewish identity. 
  • At the request of UConn Hillel, in response to several antisemitic incidents on the Storrs campus this year, we trained UConn’s entire professional residential life staff on how to respond to antisemitic incidents. Other trainees included UConn President Katsouleas, other administrators and faculty members, Hillel staff, and Jewish students and allies. "The ADL's amazing resources really do help students on college campuses feel safe and supported," said UConn Hillel President Dori Jacobs. 
  • Our recent webinar, “Talking with Your Children about Antisemitism,” included age-appropriate strategies featuring a child psychologist, teenager, and ADL staff. Nearly 70 Greater Hartford community members attended the webinar, which you can view here

ADL Connecticut is also encouraging Connecticut legislators to support updated cyber-harassment statutes. Click here to contact your legislators.
Everyone can make a difference in the fight against antisemitism and all forms of bias. We hope you’ll use the following resources to help us fight hate:

Caption: This graph from ADL's Audit of Antisemitic Incidents for 2020 shows nationwide trends in antisemitic incidents over the last decade.