Antisemitism and Hate Crimes

As antisemitism continues to rise, the Union for Reform Judaism and Religious Action Center continue to advocate for the safety and security of our communities. Learn about our responses to recent events:

Washington Post: DHS launches panel on religious security as hateful incidents rise

New York Times: Between Kanye and the Midterms, the Unsettling Stream of Antisemitism

Jewish Insider: National strategy and campus antisemitism feature at White House roundtable

According to the FBI Hate Crimes Statistics (required under the 1990 Hate Crimes Statistics Act), violent hate crimes are increasing. Most nationwide surveys released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) over the past 25 years consistently indicate between 11 and 14 percent of Americans harbor antisemitic views. As the Holocaust falls further from recent memory, hate remains. American millennials lack knowledge of the Holocaust and Across the globe, 1.09 billion people hold antisemitic attitudes and 35 percent of people have never heard of the Holocaust.

 

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hands holding sign in front of Brooklyn Bridge saying Reform Jews Say No to Hate and Fear

Why Should Jews Care?

In the Holiness Code, in Leviticus, we are commanded both that "You shall not hate your kinsfolk in your heart. Reprove your kinsman but incur no guilt because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your countrymen. Love your fellow as yourself" (Leviticus 19:17-18) and that "You may not stand idly by when your neighbor's blood is being shed? (Leviticus 19:16).

We are also taught, in the very beginning of the Torah, that "God created man in God's own image, in the image of God (b'tzelem Elohimb'tzelem Elohimבְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִיםLiterally "in the image of God;" the concept—from Genesis 1:27: “God created humankind in God’s image”—that because all humanity is created in the image of God, each person is equally valued.  ) God created him; male and female God created them" (Genesis 1:27). Judaism consistently teaches the importance of tolerance and the acceptance of others, even those different from ourselves. Even more than simply preaching tolerance, we must actively work to improve, open, and make safer our communities.

TAKE ACTION

Pray Safe Act

Across the United States, houses of worship and other religious institutions face an alarming level of violence. Religious institutions must be able to access the necessary resources to ensure their institutions remain safe and welcoming to all. Urge your members of Congress to support the bipartisan Pray Safe Act to establish a federal clearinghouse through which faith-based organizations and houses of worship can access safety resources.

Related Issues

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Stop Hate

Hate Crimes

While hate crime laws cannot eliminate bigotry, legislation serves as a deterrent to those individuals who choose to act on their hatred by imposing stricter penalties against the perpetrators of these crimes.

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Modern Day Issues in Antisemitism

Antisemitism is on the rise in North America and around the world, showcased in the annual ADL’s Audit of Anti-Semitic Acts. Violent attacks on Jewish institutions and Jews are also increasing.

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Standing With our Muslim Family

Bias and violence against the Muslim community is a growing, insidious issue in the United States. The number of assaults against Muslims in 2016 surpassed the modern peak reached in 2001, following the September 11th terrorist attacks, and incidents of anti-Muslim intimidation continue to rise, as well.

What's New

Hate Crimes in 2021: An Incomplete Picture

December 22, 2022
Last week, the FBI released its annual compilation of hate crimes statistics, summarizing all hate crimes reported to the FBI in 2021. While the statistics themselves are grim and disturbing, the most alarming statistic in this year’s announcement is what was not reported. While underreporting of hate crimes has been an ongoing issue, this report is more inaccurate than usual.

What the Unity March Means to Me as a Korean Jewish American

June 14, 2022
In April 2022, I went to Farragut North Station to refill my metro card. As I walked to where the escalators go down to the subway level, there was a woman leaving. When she saw me, she changed directions, going back to the down-escalator entrance. She didn't go down the escalator when I gave her the right-of-way, just stared at me, so I got onto the escalator.

Related Press Releases

Reform Movement Leaders React to Launch of U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism

The White House's new national strategy to combat antisemitism is a strong and innovative approach in the battle against rising hate in America. We commend President Biden and the Administration for their thorough, all-encompassing whole-of-government effort to produce a strategy that is inclusive and recognizes the diversity and plurality of our Jewish communities and the threats they face online, in their day-to-day lives, and their communal life.

Sign Up For RAC Emails

Learn more about the RAC's key issues and get involved by signing up for the legislative updates newsletter.

Reform Judaism's Resolutions on Anti-Semitism and Hate Crimes

Learn more about the position of the Reform Movement on these key issues, and read the formal resolutions by URJ and CCAR.

View URJ Resolutions View Resolutions From Our Partners

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For Your Congregation

Responding to Antisemitic Incidents: A New Resource for URJ Communities

Amid an alarming rise in antisemitic rhetoric and violence, the Union for Reform Judaism has joined with the Anti-Defamation League, the world’s leading anti-hate organization, to develop “Responding to Antisemitic Incidents: New A Resource for URJ Communities,” a toolkit to assist congregational leaders in preparing for and responding to incidents of hate and antisemitism.

Please read these two memos on congregational security to enhance your synagogue’s security measures:

The Movement Advancement Project provides a comprehensive overview of hate crime laws and examines the need for approaches that support, rather than criminalize, communities targeted by hatred. Review the report to learn more about your state's hate crime laws.