Jewish Education Amidst Rising Antisemitism  volume 22:2 Winter 2024

Antisemitism, Debating a Lie – 2024 🎬

by | Jan 1, 2024 | Antisemitism 2024 update | 0 comments

The following video interview was recorded in December 2023. It addresses the aftermath of October 7th in Jewish communities around the world.

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Caring For Our Students & Ourselves In The Face Of Antisemitism

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From The Editor: Winter 2024

From The Editor: Winter 2024

When we published our issue on antisemitism two years ago, some thought that we were being alarmist. In retrospect, it seems like the antisemitic sentiments we were sensing were just the tip of the iceberg. The surge of Jew-hatred in the United States and abroad, from college campuses to workplaces to the streets of New York, Paris, London, Sydney, and so many more places, leaves us reeling with questions. How did we get to a place where the presidents of Harvard, Penn, and MIT speaking to a congressional committee could not say unequivocally that calling for the genocide of the Jews is considered harassment and violates campus rules?

Understanding the New Antisemitism with Yossi Klein Halevi – 2024 Update πŸ“„πŸŽ¬

Understanding the New Antisemitism with Yossi Klein Halevi – 2024 Update πŸ“„πŸŽ¬

I think we’re experiencing a phenomenon that we can call massacre denial or massacre trivialization. And I don’t like Holocaust comparisons to Israel’s situation. But in one way I do believe that a Holocaust analogy is legitimate and that is in in how the historicity of October 7th is being treated and the uniqueness of October 7th. What makes October 7th unique is that it was not a pogrom, these were premeditated atrocities. And the purpose of the atrocities, was to instill terror. So what is happening to the memory of October 7th, the understanding of what October 7th was, is very similar to what Holocaust memory has been subjected to in large parts of the world.

From Fear to Resilience – 2024 🎬

From Fear to Resilience – 2024 🎬

The whole world has changed. I feel like we’re at a historic moment for the Jewish people. This is one of the major, major dividers within the Jewish world today. Those who have never really known Jewish vulnerability and those who know it and feel a deep in their kishkes. And I think that divide has been kind of blown up right now. We’ve known through the statistics that antisemitism has been on the rise for the last many years. And I think Pittsburgh, Tree of Life, really changed in some ways the American Jewish condition. It kind of woke us up to the fact that it can happen here.

Building Jewish Strength – 2024 🎬

Building Jewish Strength – 2024 🎬

I think among the things that are concerning for me is that the people that I work with, and I’m in a Reform congregation, we’re a very large community with a lot of diversity within that community. I think that what is particularly concerning to me is that our people are so caught off guard and surprised. That all of the sudden in 2023, all of the sudden it’s as if there wasn’t antisemitism before October 7th. We either had our heads in the sand or we were just kind of in a position of not really acknowledging the extent to which antisemitism is still a part of the human existence. I won’t say the Jewish existence because I think antisemitism and anti- antisemitism is more than a Jewish concern.

Confronting the Campus Crisis – 2024 update πŸ“„πŸŽ¬

Confronting the Campus Crisis – 2024 update πŸ“„πŸŽ¬

I think what we’re seeing now is a globalization of antisemitism and it’s become a mass movement in the name of anti-Israel activism, in the name of anti-Zionism, which is not to say that anti-Zionism automatically equals antisemitism, but the way that anti-Zionism is expressed particularly now, is in an antisemitic way. One example, for instance, maybe you would a draw a Venn diagram and you would have a big circle and that big circle says criticism of Israel. Then you have another circle, which is antisemitism, and then you have a bit of an overlap. And the overlap seems to have increased recently. Why that is, is because Hamas is in itself an antisemitic organization.

Seeing Antisemitism Clearly – 2024 🎬

Seeing Antisemitism Clearly – 2024 🎬

The time when my thinking on antisemitism changed the most in the last five years was actually 2021, not now. In 2021, we had a similar situation on a smaller scale to what we have now, which is Israel and Hamas fighting and violence against Jews outside Israel. Hate crimes, attacks both at protests but also just on the street. And the thing that changed my thinking the most was not fighting in Israel and was not even those attacks. But it was how the reaction to those attacks from people who are most likely to stand up for minority groups who are being subjected to racism or prejudice was anything ranging from apathy to justifying or contextualizing the violence.

Antisemitism – So Close to Home – 2024 Update πŸ“„πŸŽ¬

Antisemitism – So Close to Home – 2024 Update πŸ“„πŸŽ¬

I appreciate the opportunity, unfortunately, to revisit the question of antisemitism and the Jewish day school landscape. And it was almost like looking back at an innocent time to think about the Pittsburgh experience, which is what I wrote about, the proximity of my experience to the three congregations that were massacred in the Tree of Life building. At that time I definitely had it in the context of, well, I’m not surprised. I’m a child of Holocaust survivors. This is going to happen periodically. The big difference was the feeling that the world and the communities and the rational universe were very empathetic and sympathetic to what happened to the Jews in our community.

Antisemitism and Identity – 2024 Update πŸ“„πŸŽ¬

Antisemitism and Identity – 2024 Update πŸ“„πŸŽ¬

So the question was, in the last two years, has your thinking on antisemitism changed? And the answer is very straightforward. My thinking has not changed whatsoever. I knew that antisemitism is an issue, even though people around me have been minimizing and denying it and now it’s just out. It’s clear that there is bias even among people who are not necessarily antisemitic. It seems like there is a radicalization among younger people. I’m wondering to what extent education has to do with it. I got my Ph.D. here and I’ve seen the environment. There seems to be also a lot of misinformation at least on the school campuses or university campuses.