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Study: American Jews Who Have Experienced Antisemitism Give 10 Times More to Charity

originally posted February 20, 2024

With antisemitism as well as the Jewish community’s charitable giving both surging in the United States amid the current war between Israel and Hamas, a landmark study released today has revealed that American Jews who have experienced antisemitism give an average of almost 10 times more to charity than those who have not had those experiences.

The American Jewish Philanthropy 2022: Giving to Religious and Secular Causes in the U.S. and to Israelstudy, from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the Ruderman Family Foundation, is one of the first major reports on Jewish giving trends in America in the past decade. The report’s publication comes as antisemitic incidents in the U.S. have increased 388% since the start of the war over the same period in the previous year, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

According to the new study, co-authored by Patrick M. Rooney, Ph.D., Hanna Shaul Bar Nissim, Ph.D., and Jon Bergdoll, experiences with and concerns about antisemitism in the U.S. were linked to significantly higher levels of giving in 2022. Respondents who personally experienced antisemitism or have someone in their household who experienced it gave more to all causes. Higher charitable giving by donors who had experiences with antisemitism was not limited to supporting religious organizations, as American Jewish donors who had experienced antisemitism gave over six times as much to non-religious institutions and organizations than donors who had not. Concern about antisemitism was also related to more giving: those who reported being very concerned about antisemitism gave at higher rates (80%, versus 53% among those who said they were not at all concerned); and gave over five times more than the average of those who said they are unconcerned about antisemitism. (continue reading)