By Matt Golden
Director, Jewish Community Relations Council
Today (May 25) the White House issued a comprehensive strategic plan to counter antisemitism in this country (https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/U.S.-National-Strategy-to-Counter-Antisemitism.pdf
The approach is being coordinated across a number of different actors — public, private and not-for-profit — and focuses on three pillars: (1) Increasing awareness of antisemitism and increasing appreciation of Jewish American heritage; (2) improving Safety and Security for Jewish Communities; and (3) reversing the normalization of antisemitism and discrimination. According to the report, antisemitism is on the rise and while Jews represent only 2% of the population, they account for 63% of the religiously motivated hate crimes in this country. We welcome the report and look forward to the implementation of its more than 100 recommended actions, which include:
- Increased school-based education
- Improved research
- Enhanced and comprehensive data collection, threat sharing and victim support.
- Physical security enhancement
- Collective outreach and combatting of antisemitism in schools, college campuses and online.
We are also heartened by one of the core tenets of the report, that indicates coalition building is among the most effective methods to combat antisemitism. At our Federation and Jewish Community Relations Council, this is the work that we are already doing on a local level. As the report indicates, “Strengthening democracy and accountability for hate in America is the ultimate long-term bulwark against rising antisemitism and other forms of hate. History shows that governments that value and support diversity and in which citizens feel empowered is one of the strongest antidotes to antisemitism, hate, and conspiracy theories.”
We want to thank the White House, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, Jewish Federations of North America, and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs for their hard work in taking this historic step.