The European Jewish Congress is expressing “great concern” over the results of a European Union agency report released this week which talks about the experiences of young Jewish Europeans with anti-Semitism.
The report, “Young Jewish Europeans: perceptions and experiences of antisemitism,” warns that four out of five young Jewish Europeans consider anti-Semitism a problem in their countries, and say the phenomenon has increased over the past five years.
Younger Jews encounter harassment at higher rates than older generations, with 44 percent saying that they were targeted at least once in the past year.
The report says 41 percent have considered emigrating because they did not feel safe living in Europe as a Jewish person; 45 percent of young Jewish Europeans choose not to wear, carry or display distinguishable Jewish items in public because they are concerned about their safety.
In spite of all that, 81 percent of young Jewish Europeans declared the strength of their Jewish identity to be high.
“This report is of great concern because it clearly demonstrates that the position of our youth, the Jewish future of Europe, is tenuous at the moment,” said European Jewish Congress President Dr. Kantor.
“The fact that almost half are considering emigrating and will not display signs of their Jewish background, point to a breakdown in their confidence to be both openly and proudly Jewish in their local environments.
“However, the fact that over four fifths of European Jewish youths declare the strength of their Jewish identity to be high is certainly positive and means that despite the challenges, the next generation of Jewish leaders are motivated to maintain their Jewish identity, and this is certainly cause for significant optimism. ”
The results reflect the views of the 2700+ Jews aged 16-34 who participated in FRA’s survey of Jews in 12 member states, where more than 96 percent of the EU’s estimated Jewish population lives.