During the first half of this year British Jews experienced record levels of anti-Semitism, with a 491 percent increase in school-related incidents, said a report released this week.
The significant uptick came largely in May during the fighting between Israel and Hamas, according to newly compiled statistics released by the Community Security Trust (CST), the organization tasked with providing security to the UK Jewish community, reported the Jewish Chronicle.
The document detailed 1,308 anti-Semitic incidents between January and June, the highest number ever recorded by the CST.
Reported incidents involving schools, teachers and students increased from 22 during the first half of 2020 to 130 during the first half of 2021.
The vast majority of those cases took place at non-religious schools, a number up 62 percent from last year.
Levels of anti-Semitism experienced by the Jewish community were “worse than anything seen in recent decades,” said CST CEO Mark Gardner.
Most of the incidents involving schools occurred in May during the reopening after a COVID lockdown and the 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Gardner called the targeting of younger Jews “disgraceful.”
He pledged to continue to do “everything that we can to protect our Jewish communities, and to give them the security and comfort that they need.”
Nearly half of all incidents from January to June occurred during May. The amount of incidents that month, 639, is the highest monthly figure recorded by the CST.
During the six-month time period studied, there were 89 violent attacks, an increase of 68 percent over 2020. All but two of the assaults were categorized as “extreme violence.”
There were also 56 incidents of vandalism to Jewish property, 85 anti-Semitic threats and five anti-Semitic mailers.
The incidents mostly took place in London and Manchester.