William C. Daroff, Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Director of the Washington Office of The Jewish Federations of North America, shared the following action alert on December 7, 2016, urging all of us to take action in support of the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act.
As you may have heard, the bipartisan Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016 (S. 10/H.R. 6421) recently passed the Senate by unanimous consent. This legislation would instruct the Department of Education to take into consideration the State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism when assessing whether an alleged incident was motived by anti-Semitic intent and is, therefore, a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The definition of anti-Semitism that the bill would have the Department of Education consider is:
“Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
This bill is critically important at a time of rising anti-Semitism across our country, particularly on college campuses, and provides the Department of Education with a guide to better evaluate whether or not an incident was motivated by anti-Jewish bias. This legislation would not change the rights or protections attributed to other religious groups under Title VI.
The bill now has a chance of being passed by the House of Representatives before it adjourns at the end of this week. JFNA joined the Anti-Defamation League, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and American Israel Public Affairs Committee in sending a letter to House leadership urging quick passage of this bill.
We now ask that you join us in urging your representative to support this legislation. You can find your representative’s contact information here. Please consider contacting your member with the language that appears below.
William C. Daroff
Senior Vice President for Policy &
Director of the Washington Office
The Honorable [__________]
United States House of Representatives
Subject: Anti-Semitism Awareness Act
Dear Representative [__________]:
I am a member of the [BLANK] Federation and am writing to you today about the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act (H.R.6421).
I am writing in my capacity both as a member of my organization, and as someone who strongly believes in fighting racial, religious, and ethnic discrimination in all of its forms.
Therefore, I urgently request that you support H.R. 6421. As you know, over the past several years, there has been a sharp increase in anti-Semitism in the U.S., and especially on college campuses. The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act would equip the Department of Education to properly assess when incidents of harassment, intimidation, and discrimination against Jewish students are motivated by anti-Semitism.
The Senate already passed this bill by unanimous consent. If the House of Representatives is serious about fighting anti-Semitism, it is crucial that it pass this bill prior to adorning, which will send a strong statement that anti-Semitic discrimination, like all other forms of discrimination, will not be tolerated. I urge you to support this legislation and encourage House leadership to bring this bill for a vote without delay.