Four in ten of surveyed British Jews have suffered antisemitism at work

Almost four in 10 Jews responding to a survey have reported experiencing antisemitism at work or when doing business since the 7 October terrorist attacks.

Work Avenue, the Jewish community’s leading employment and business support organisation, instigated the study after receiving a worrying number of reports of anti-Jewish behaviour in the workplace.

It found that 39% of those taking part had experienced antisemitic comments from colleagues or clients.

Incidents came in direct conversations the Jewish employee was part of, social media posts, internal email and blogs, overheard discussions and people being avoided because of their faith.

While much of the antisemitism centred around the situation in Israel and Gaza – including denials of what happened on 7 October – tropes around money and influence were also common.

Terms reported included Jewish people being labelled as baby killers, supporters of genocide and “Jew-bags”. There were also expressions of support for Hamas, challenges to the IHRA definition of antisemitism and statements about “Jews ruling the world”.

In some cases, the hurt was compounded by delays or failure in management taking action, and, in a few reports, the antisemitism came from senior staff themselves.

A regular concern was that networks and procedures put in place to support minority groups were inactive when it comes to protecting Jewish staff.

Work Avenue CEO Debbie Lebrett
Work Avenue CEO Debbie Lebrett

In positive news, 72% of those taking part in the survey said they had received supportive behaviour from colleagues or clients (some of these had experienced negativity too).

This included many instances of colleagues offering comfort and help, senior management arranging regular check-in sessions, and support offered for those worried about family in Israel or marches in the UK.

Reacting to the results, Work Avenue CEO Debbie Lebrett said: “This is a very difficult time for our community, as we mourn those lost on 7 October, worry about friends and family in Israel and have to deal with rising antisemitism at home.

“For four in ten Jewish people responding to our survey to also be suffering hatred in the workplace – which should be a safe space – is shocking. It is extremely upsetting that people do not feel as safe at work as they do in their own home, even though many people spend the majority of their time at work.

“Work Avenue is here to help those in the community who are having problems, so please get in touch with one of our team today who can provide free confidential support on this and any other workplace issues.

“It is comforting to know that almost three quarters of our survey participants have received support from colleagues and management at this time, and our team are also here to help those – both inside and outside of our community – who wish to learn how better to deal with such situations.”



Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *