On May 25, 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration released the first-ever U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism. This strategy includes over 100 new actions the Administration will take “to raise awareness of antisemitism and its threat to American democracy, protect Jewish communities, reverse the normalization of antisemitism, and build cross-community solidarity.”
The plan includes many policy priorities Jewish Federation advocated for including the Nonprofit Security Grant Program at $360 million, funding for the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, and ensuring quality Holocaust education through the utilization of funds provided through the Never Again Act.
The National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism is a “whole-of-society, inter-agency plan” comprised of four pillars:
- Increase awareness and understanding of antisemitism, including its threat to America, and broaden appreciation of Jewish American heritage
- Improve safety and security for Jewish communities
- Reverse the normalization of antisemitism and counter antisemitic discrimination
- Build cross-community solidarity and collective action to counter hate
Federations across the nation will play an integral role in implementing many of the action items mentioned in the plan on the local, state, and national levels.
Federation’s Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is in the process of reviewing the National Plan and identifying and exploring how action items can be implemented by working with local government and community leadership.
- Work with academic institutions to convene forums with community leaders, non-profits, and scholars to discuss antisemitism and its relationship to other forms of hate as well as best practices for countering antisemitism
- Convene community partners, including law enforcement, to discuss antisemitism and hate crimes, create a diverse network of community leaders, and encourage reporting of hate incidents
- Continue to engage with elected leaders on all levels and faith leaders and call on them to speak out against antisemitism
- Join multi-faith, interracial, and cross-class coalitions and campaigns combating all hate, discrimination, and bias
- Work with our national partners to call on Congress to hold social media platforms accountable for spreading hate-fueled violence, including antisemitism
As the review process continues more action items will be added to the list.
In addition to implementing part of the National Strategy, JCRC continues to work with the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education to implement the survey now required by (Federation-initiated) law as a first step toward enhancing consistency, accountability, and transparency across school districts regarding instruction on Holocaust and other genocides.
Recently, members of the JCRC reviewed an initial draft of the survey providing important feedback and adding questions to help better understand how schools meet and adhere to the NJ mandate to teach Holocaust and genocide studies.
JCRC will continue to monitor the distribution of the survey and analysis of the collected data, as well as plan the next steps to assist the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education to implement a uniform Holocaust and genocide studies curriculum.
To learn more about the JCRC's work, please visit jewishheartnj.org/jcrc.