Combating Antisemitism

CONVENING OUR COMMUNITY IN TIMES OF CRISIS

After the worst antisemitic attack in American history, our community did not stand alone. At our vigil for the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, we were supported by federal, state, and local officials, law enforcement, and the leadership of virtually every major Christian and Muslim institution; a testament to the relationships JCRC has cultivated. When an unthinkable act of terror hit the heart of our community, we knew who would be with us — the partners we’ve come to rely on through the years.

TRANSMITTING MEMORY

As we watch Holocaust denial and ignorance reach frightening proportions, amplifying the voices of survivors and eyewitnesses to history has never been more crucial. At this year’s Yom HaShoah Commemoration, we gathered 300 members of the Jewish community and our interfaith partners to honor the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. Centering on the transmission of memory from survivors to the next generation, the commemoration featured Holocaust survivor Janet Applefield and her daughter Deb Milley, as well as the student winners of the 14th Annual Israel Arbeiter Holocaust Essay Contest, named for Holocaust survivor and activist Israel Arbeiter.

NONPROFIT SECURITY ADVOCACY

In this time of heightened vulnerability at home and across the country, JCRC championed an advocacy campaign to urge expansion of a grant program to provide security enhancements to houses of worship, community centers and other vulnerable institutions across the Commonwealth.
In late May, the Massachusetts State Senate passed an amendment to the State budget to increase nonprofit security funding by $500,000, and soon after, Governor Baker proposed and the legislature adopted an additional $1,000,000 in funding, with access to these vital grants for all regions of the Commonwealth.

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YH survivor speaker
Mayor Walsh and Governor Baker speak at the Tree of Life Vigil.
Mayor Walsh and Governor Baker speak at the Tree of Life Vigil.

ANTI-BIAS LEGISLATION

JCRC, with ADL, Senator Michael Moore, and Representative Michael Day, designed a proposal that was adopted by the legislature, to provide anti-bias training to help curb hate crimes in public schools across the Commonwealth.