Nearly 80 years after the end of the Holocaust, antisemitism is once again on the rise. There’s been a spate of disturbing incidents in recent months: In October, Kyrie Irving tweeted a link to a movie containing antisemitic conspiracy theories. In November, the FBI reported they had received credible information about a threat to New Jersey synagogues. In December, Kanye West said in an interview, “I like Hitler,” adding, “I love Jewish people but I also love Nazis.”
Antisemitic rhetoric leads to real danger. In 2020, more than half of hate crimes were committed against Jews. These attacks have created a culture of fear. In 2021, a study of American Jews found that almost 60% had direct experience with antisemitism in the previous year, and about 60% felt less safe than they did five years earlier. That same year, a separate study found that 39% of Jews had recently changed their behavior to avoid being targeted.
For the vast majority of Jewish Americans, this cultural climate is new. Many of us grew up hearing our grandparents’ stories about facing discrimination, living in concentration camps, and losing family members to the Holocaust; we didn’t expect to be confronted with similar issues during our lifetimes. Although today’s bigotry is far less extreme, it’s still deeply concerning.
To combat this rising form of hatred, consider the resources below.