The European Commission, together with the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) published a joint report on ‘Young Jewish Europeans’.
The report draws on the data of the Second survey on discrimination and hate crime against Jews in the EU, released in December 2018, and was proposed to the Commission by the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS).
The results show that young Jewish Europeans continue to have a strong Jewish identity, but are concerned about the rise of hate speech and intolerance, and feel generally unsafe, with four out of five saying that antisemitism has increased over the past five years.
44% of young Jewish Europeans suffered antisemitic harassment, making them the most vulnerable age group. As with their elders, an overwhelming majority of young Jews did not report harassment to the police or any other authority.
In addition, 45% of young Jewish Europeans choose not to wear, carry or display distinguishable Jewish items in public because there are concerned about their safety and 41% have considered emigrating because they did not feel safe living there as Jews.
At the same time, young Jews are concerned about discrimination and intolerance in all its forms, with 81% believing that racism is a problem in their countries and 74% perceiving an increase in anti-Muslim hatred.
For young Jewish Europeans, remembering the Holocaust remains the most important element to determine the Jewish identity of young Jewish Europeans (95%). In contrast, the importance of supporting Israel is slightly less significant to young Jews than to their elders, 85% of them report that people that they are occasionally accused or blamed for anything done by the Israeli government.
Commenting on the report, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová says, “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.”
“This survey helps tell an important story; young Jewish Europeans hold strong and positive Jewish identities alongside alert and passionate European Identities”, said Alina Bricman, President of EUJS, “to be able to make this case, with evidence – both within the broader Jewish community and of course to the public as a whole is an enormous achievement.”
FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty added: “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.”