A record 149 acts of antisemitism were reported in the District, Maryland and Virginia last year, the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith said yesterday. The number is more than double the 1989 total of 60.

The rise in anti-Jewish vandalism and harassment -- 112 reported incidents in Maryland, 14 in the District and 23 in Virginia -- is part of a national trend. The group said 1,685 antisemitic incidents were reported across the country in 1990, up from 1,432 in 1989. It was the fourth increase in four years.

The report by the league included acts labeled as hate crimes by law enforcement agencies, as well as vandalism and harassment aimed at people specifically because they are Jewish.

Under that definition, graffiti scrawled on a Jewish person's house would not be counted if it did not contain a religious slur, but ethnic taunts aimed at a group or individual would, the league said.

Any attack on a synagogue or Jewish institution is classified as antisemitic.

Incidents reported in the Washington area in 1990 included the spray-painting of the phrase "A Jewish star equals a swastika" on the front gate of American University in February, and the breaking of 12 windows at a synagogue in Silver Spring in September.

New York state's tally of 296 incidents remained the largest in the country last year, although the total dropped 32 from the 1989, the league report said.

Maryland's total was more than double 1989's 47, giving it the sixth-highest number of incidents, according to the report. It said that of Virginia's 23 antisemitic acts last year, 11 took place in Northern Virginia.

The league's Washington director, David C. Friedman, attributed most of the increase in antisemitism acts to a national "breakdown in civility."

But he also said the area figures may reflect a greater willingness to report antisemitic incidents in the wake of such well-publicized acts as the attacks on the Yeshiva of Greater Washington in December 1989 and on Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville two months later.

"Those two events without question engendered tremendous public conciousness," Friedman said.

"There was a significant upsurge in the number of reports of incidents in the first four months of 1990."

Still, Friedman estimated that three incidents go unreported nationwide for every one that is.

Reports of antisemitism at colleges and universities jumped 36 percent last year, the league said, with 95 episodes reported in 1990 compared with 69 in 1989. Fourteen of those incidents took place last summer at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Friedman said more of the reported acts involved youngsters.

One case detailed in the league report involves students at an unidentified public school in Fairfax County who taunted two Jewish ninth-graders with ethnic slurs.

"This is a generation growing up willing to act in hateful and hurtful ways," Friedman said. "That is not something that can make us feel too optimistic."

Location......1986......1987......1988......1989......1990

Maryland......37.........44.........49......47........112

District.......3..........1..........4......1..........14

Virginia.......9.........10.........14......12*........23

Total.........49.........55.........67......60.........149

*Includes nine incidents in Northern Virginia.

Includes 11 incidents in Northern Virginia.

SOURCE: Anti-Defamation League Annual Audits 1986-90