Our Fight Against Antisemitism

Traditional Jewish Family Lighting Menorah

Our community’s collective fight against antisemitism can feel overwhelming these days. From antisemitic tropes being spouted by national figures in music, sports and politics to incidents on our area college campuses and in our communities, it seems virtually impossible to escape antisemitism in 2023.  

Our work to stand up against antisemitism and hate is a year-round priority for the Baltimore Jewish Council and The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore. Speaking out. Advocating. Educating. Partnering with allies in other communities against hate. 

As we approach the holiday of Chanukah, we are taking an opportunity to continue to fight against antisemitism by participating in the second annual “Shine A Light” campaign. Through community programs, policy announcements, public communications and education, we will join with Jewish communities across the nation to come together to call out and combat antisemitism. 

The Anti-Defamation League’s annual audit of antisemitism incidents found that antisemitic incidents reached an all-time high in the United States in 2021, with 2,717 incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism. 

Within the category of hate crimes motivated by a religious bias, the FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics report found that nearly 60 percent of such crimes target Jews — even though Jews represent just two percent of the American population. 

The statistics compiled by the Maryland State Police of incidents in our state show similar trends. 

While we would prefer to spend the Chanukah holiday focused solely on the joys of family and the celebration of the Miracle of Lights, these statistics — and the stories we hear from across our community — make it more critical than ever that we talk about antisemitism and what we are doing to combat it. 

As part of our efforts, The Associated, through the Baltimore Jewish Council, has: 

  • Consulted on security concerns at synagogues and schools across Maryland.
  • Advocated for hate crimes legislation that passed  in the Maryland General Assembly. 
  • Served as a member of Maryland’s domestic terrorism task force, a group tasked by the Maryland General Assembly to explore ways to combat extremism.  
  • Educated local community businesses on antisemitism in the workplace. Recently led a session with a prominent law firm and many of them volunteered on a Sunday morning for a clean-up at the Holocaust Memorial on Lombard Street.   
  • Helped respond to antisemitism incidents on our college campuses and at our cemeteries. 
  • Brought together more than 300 students from public and private high schools across the region for a day of learning about the Holocaust and hate hosted by the John Carroll School. 
  • Organized our community’s commemoration of Kristallnacht and Yom HaShoah
  • Continued to maintain an online system for members of our community to report incidents of antisemitism at associated.org/reporthate

Creating and inspiring Jewish community in the Baltimore area has to be about more than fighting hate and antisemitism. We want to focus on the meaningful and joyful experiences of being Jewish — the family celebrations, the learning, the worshiping in community and more. 

But we also know that living Jewishly can only happen if we feel safe and secure. We understand that the Baltimore Jewish Council and The Associated have a responsibility to our community to fight antisemitism and hate. Join us as we Shine a Light on Antisemitism — learn more at associated.org/shinealight

Looking for books to explain antisemitism to your children? Reach out to the Jewish Library
of Baltimore at associated.org/jewishlibrary

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