For those following current conversations about community response to anti-Semitism in Highland Park, and particularly as to Federation’s involvement, do not mistake perceived silence for inaction.
Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey maintains and supports ongoing communications across the many facets of the Jewish community as well as with civic and interfaith leaders. We are aware that some interested parties have chosen to adopt high-profile interventions, some have engaged in behind-the-scenes advocacy, and some have taken a hands-off approach with the intention of quelling publicity for any group, movement, moniker, or individual denying Israel’s right to exist as a democratic and Jewish state.
The current issues, Highland Park’s working processes, and related concerns on the local, state, national, and worldwide levels, have reinforced the need for Jewish Federation to empower this community to push back on hate, bias, and bigotry, including anti-Semitism — from both proactive and responsive angles — with increased investments in security, education, and advocacy.
Jewish Federation community relations efforts are strengthening channels of communication and platforms for action, such as:
- education from middle schools to colleges, about building bridges of understanding between people of diffrent backgrounds and empowering all to stand up to hate
- education for law enforcement officers, enabling them to better recognize and deal with bias incidents
- education and other resources for the leadership of houses of worship to protect themselves and their communities from harm
- educational exchange programs between interfaith clergy
- advocacy with local elected and civic leaders as well as lobbying of our NJ congressional delegation in Washington, D.C.
- input to NJ’s new Interagency Task Force on Youth Bias with the offices of the Governor and Attorney General
- involvement in the Interfaith Advisory Council of the NJ Department of Homeland Security and Preparedness
- supporting those individuals and institutions experiencing bias incidents
- neighborhood-based briefings on hate and security for concerned citizens to gain awareness and get involved — and much more
Jewish Federation remains committed to connecting and empowering this community to make Jewish life stronger, safer, more supportive, and more sustainable. Those interested in getting involved are encouraged to contact us at 732-588-1800.