Friday, June 09, 2023

Antisemitic incidents have been on the rise in New Jersey. Condemnation of all forms of Jew-hatred is necessary and important, but not enough. Education and dialogue are needed to address Jew-hatred in New Jersey. To be able to truly engage in education and dialogue to combat such bigotry, the State of New Jersey needs to adopt a definition of antisemitism.

In May 2022, S2434/A3882 was introduced in the New Jersey State Legislature, which would establish the definition of antisemitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in 2016 as the State’s definition of antisemitism. The IHRA defines antisemitism as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” S2434/A3882 recognizes that the IHRA definition of antisemitism “has been an essential definitional tool used to determine contemporary manifestations of antisemitism, and includes useful examples of discriminatory anti-Israel acts that cross the line into antisemitism.”

Jewish communities and their allies throughout New Jersey need to contact their state legislators and urge them to pass S2434/A3882 now.

Josh Fine
Advocacy Chair
Middlesex-Black Jewish Coalition
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