Anti-Semitic incidents in the United States are up sharply since the November election, new research indicates, including an 86 percent increase in incidents like bullying and vandalism since the beginning of the year.
"There's been a significant, sustained increase in anti-Semitic activity since the start of 2016, and what's most concerning is the fact that the numbers have accelerated over the past five months," said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit Jewish activist group.
Among the preliminary reports of 541 anti-Semitic incidents the ADL recorded in the first quarter of 2017 were 380 harassment incidents (including 161 bomb threats), 155 vandalism incidents (including three cemetery desecrations) and six physical assault incidents.
NBC News has not independently confirmed all of the reports, but it has previously confirmed that such incidents run the gamut from hostile graffiti and emails to bomb threats.
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In New York City alone, there were 55 anti-Semitic crimes reported from Jan. 1 to March 5 this year, up 189 percent from 19 such incidents in the same period of 2016, according to data from the nonpartisan Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University-San Bernardino.
Both studies say the 2016 presidential election and the political environment it fostered have in part led to the increase.
The ADL said it recorded 34 incidents linked to the election, including graffiti posted in Denver last May reading: "Kill the Jews, Vote Trump."
"We might very well be at the start of a trend where anti-Semitic incidents are going up each year. We were seeing an over-decade decline in anti-Semitic incidents," California State-San Bernardino researcher Brian Levin told Reuters last month.
The ADL said technology has made it easier to harass Jews anonymously.
"Extremists and anti-Semites feel emboldened and are using technology in new ways to spread their hatred and to impact the Jewish community on and off line," said Oren Segal, director of the ADL's Center on Extremism.
The latter of these reports was verified by partners through a wide-ranging project called Documenting Hate. NBC News has partnered with ProPublica, the nonprofit organization dedicated to investigative journalism, as well as other news organizations and nonprofit groups for this project to track reports of hate crimes across the United States.
The ADL's audit includes both criminal and non-criminal incidents compiled using information provided by victims, law enforcement and community leaders and evaluated by the group's staff.
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Becky Bratu is a staff writer at NBC News covering national, international and breaking news for NBCNews.com. She joined NBCNews full-time in November 2011, and previously worked within the company as a Web producer for "Nightly News with Brian Williams" and "Rock Center with Brian Williams." She began working at Rockefeller Center as an intern in June 2011.
Bratu previously worked for newspapers and television stations in Romania and Germany, and did a stint as a blogger and Web producer for a tech and social media start-up in Virginia.
She comes from Arad, Romania, and attended Columbia University in New York and Washington and Lee University in Virginia.