Young Jewish Europeans resilient in the face of antisemitic abuse

young jewish europeans
© iStock/ Omm-on-tour

A new report has found young Jewish Europeans are increasingly exposed to antisemitic harassment, but that they continue to express a strong sense of Jewish identity.

The report, conducted by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research and published by the European Commission and the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), found that 80% of young Jewish Europeans said antisemitism was a growing problem in their countries; while 44% said they had experienced antisemitic harassment – 12% more than the previous generation. 81% of respondents said racism in general was a problem in their home countries, with 74% specifically identifying a growing Islamophobic sentiment.

FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty said: “Antisemitism in Europe remains a stubborn stain that refuses to go away. We owe it to all Jews, and particularly future generations, to erase this blot once and for all through coordinated action at the EU and national level working hand-in-hand with Jewish communities.”

81% of the young Jewish Europeans surveyed said they retained a strong sense of their Jewish identity, although 45% of respondents actively chose not to wear or display signs of their faith out of concern for their safety. Only 17% said the governments of their home countries were doing enough to combat antisemitic abuse.

Věra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said: “Young Jewish Europeans are very attached to their Jewish identity. I am saddened that they fear for their security in Europe, do not dare to wear a kippah and some even consider emigrating. We need to act fast to combat antisemitism in Europe and join our efforts to keep our youth safe. We want young Jewish people to grow up in Europe feeling they fully belong here. Antisemitism is a threat to our European values. This is why we made fighting it a priority and work closely with Member States to ensure they are fully part of our Union.”

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