Prior to March of 2021, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) put a call out for community members to participate on an Antisemitism Committee. We were fortunate to hear from 12 passionate individuals who were eager to give their time toward this critical issue. The committee would spend the first six months dedicating themselves to examining how antisemitism could be contextualized into the JCRC pillars of EDUCATE-ADVOCATE-ACT.
The committee gathers virtually two times each month on Sunday mornings. Meetings include presentations from scholars in related fields and professionals who are on the ground everyday working to combat antisemitism. Committee members also discuss readings, where sometimes one question will lend itself to a one-hour dialogue.
Much of the work has focused on creating programs and resources as a way for people to become informed on the issues we are facing in today’s world. Little did we know that months after we began this initiative, the news would be filled with stories of antisemitic rhetoric and violence. The videos of a Jewish man being chased with a car, or Jewish diners being physically attacked seemed surreal.
It saddens me that we even have to address this issue, but regrettably it is a part of our reality. I am thankful our Antisemitism Committee has already been hard at work coming up with educational opportunities and ways in which we can act to fight hate against our community.
There are some exciting new resources and programs on the horizon. The committee is currently building a “Dismantling Antisemitism” toolkit that will be a compilation of resources and programs that are already being used with success, including specific information for our own Greater Dayton community. And while education is a process and there is always much more to learn, the committee has already focused on topics such as how to have conversations on critical issues, stereotypes of antisemitism, the historical context of antisemitism, and antisemitism surrounding the most recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
We are now gearing up to address the “ADVOCATE-ACT” pillars. The Antisemitism Committee is our partner in bringing the “Dismantling Antisemitism” program to the entire community. Please keep an eye out for educational programming, and advocacy and action steps as the program is launched this fall.
If you are interested in participating and becoming our partner in “Dismantling Antisemitism” we will begin our next cohort in March 2022. Please contact Senior Director JCRC, Marcy Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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