Another year has passed and hatred against Jews remains alarmingly strong. According to the FBI’s most recent report, 56% of almost 1,500 anti-religious hate crimes reported in 2021 were motivated by offenders’ anti-Jewish bias
In 2021, working through the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), Jewish Federation redoubled efforts combating antisemitism:
- Educating the Jewish community on new trends and threats;
- Empowering advocates to speak and act in ways that make a difference;
- Strengthening relationships with allies to ensure the issue of antisemitism and all hate remains a priority within and beyond the Jewish community.
The JCRC invested in the following initiatives:
- Conducted an advocacy training series: Uniting to Combat Antisemitism -- providing context, strategies, tactics and tools for people who want to learn and do more to improve the current situation and secure a Jewish future;
- Briefed Jewish community members and leaders on the evolving state of antisemitism;
- Met with representatives in Congress and state government urging them to fulfill Jewish communal priorities in combating bigotry and hate;
- Sponsored the ADL’s Words to Action program for middle school and high school students and their parents to respond to antisemitism;
- Created a resource page of current and contextual information empowering individuals to better understand and speak out against hatred of Jews;
- Launched a monthly e-newsletter with timely news on public affairs and opportunities for readers to learn more and take action*;
- Programming, e.g., the Seeing Human series, with civic, government, and non-Jewish partners promoting shared values and lessons from the past to fight bias and build bridges.
Throughout the year, the JCRC urged lawmakers to support legislation on issues affecting all Jews in the heart of NJ, nationwide, and in Israel. We were instrumental in the following milestones:
- The Senate passed a resolution condemning antisemitic attacks.
- The House approved emergency funding to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
- The House passed the Build Back Better Act including major Jewish community priorities.
- The Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Act became law, enabling nonprofits to spend more of their finite resources on services to clients.
- Legislation making NJ’s Non-Profit Security Grant Pilot Program permanent was passed out of committee. In 2022, we will continue to advocate for the full State Senate to vote on the bill.
For more on JCRC achievements click here.
Looking ahead for 2022 and beyond, the JCRC will concentrate on:
- Strengthening unity among cohorts in the Jewish community to enable the community to speak with greater impact on needs affecting all Jews;
- Urging legislators to take further measures against antisemitism and all forms of hate and to increase support of human services for vulnerable populations;
- Continuing to develop and deepen relationships with non-Jewish religious, ethnic, human rights, and government leaders.
For more information and to get involved contact Dan Rozett, Federation’s Manager of Community and Israel Engagement.