Jews For Racial & Economic Justice is proud to announce the publication of a new resource, Understanding Antisemitism, for our community and our movement partners.

Download Understanding Antisemitism

Since even before the election, it has been clear to us that many on the left (including Jews ourselves) don’t always have a clear analysis of what antisemitism is, how it works, and why it matters. In recent decades, the political Jewish right and its Christian allies (particularly Christian Zionists) have consistently spoken loudly against what they describe as antisemitism. In reaction to the manipulations of the right, many on the left have hesitated to address antisemitism at all.

And yet, today we have antisemites in the White House and neo-Nazis marching through Charlottesville, advancing a right-wing, white nationalist agenda. As we say inUnderstanding Antisemitism, “Antisemitism is real. It is antithetical to collective liberation, and it hurts Jews but not only Jews — it undermines, weakens and derails all of our movements for social justice and collective liberation.”

It is long past time for the left as a whole to sharpen its understanding of anti-Jewish ideology, and for Jews to engage more deeply in the collective fight against white supremacy. This paper is designed to help us develop that understanding and strengthen those commitments to one another.

“The section about Anti-semitism and Israel is quite possibly the most thoughtful analysis of this issue that I have ever read.” — Libby Lenkinski, Vice-President of Strategy, New Israel Fund

“A great resource!” — Alicia Garza, Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter; Special Projects Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance

“It’s wonderful to see a new school of thinking on antisemitism emerge from the (Jewish) Left!” — Jacob Labendz, historian, author of Jewish Property After 1945: Cultures and Economies of Ownership, Loss, Recovery, and Transfer

“Required reading for anyone who cares about dismantling white supremacy.” — Sophie Ellman-Golan, organizer of the Women’s March on Washington and Women’s Convention in Detroit.

Changing the conversation about antisemitism requires listening to new voices, which is why this resource was authored by a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, intergenerational team including Black, Mizrahi and white Ashkenazi Jews, with editorial review and support by Jews with ethnic and national identities from many countries including Puerto Rico, India, Iraq, Syria, as well as non-Jewish allies from many racial and ethnic backgrounds.

We are excited to be able to offer new perspectives and analysis to our many communities as we all navigate the shifting, treacherous terrain of white supremacy, nationalism and state violence. We make this offering with humility. It is only one piece of a larger conversation, and one step in the transformation of our movements. But if we re-examine our histories, learn from each other, and ask hard questions while refusing to be pitted against each other, we may discover that the path to freedom, resilience, and shared safety is far wider, kinder, stronger and clearer than we might have imagined.

“The Leftist Guide to Fighting Antisemitism That You’ve Been Waiting For,” Lilith, by Chanel Dubofsky, November 15, 2017

“The paper, entitled Understanding Antisemitism: An Offering to Our Movement, is super-comprehensive, in the exact way you want it to be…. Understanding Antisemitism allows organizations and individuals to challenge effectively the idea that being on the Left exempts a person from aligning with antisemitic tropes (like ‘Jews control the media,’ ‘All Jews have money,’ ‘Jews can’t be trusted,’ etc.) … Throughout the paper, the actions of the Trump administration are mentioned in connection with how emboldened white supremacists have amplified antisemitism both before and after the 2016 Presidential campaign.”

“How to deal with modern anti-Semitism? The Jewish Left is leading the way,” +972 Magazine, by Natasha Roth, November 17, 2017

“A number of incidents at left-wing demonstrations over the summer led to ugly fallouts in which accusations of anti-Semitism on the part of protest organizers provoked hysteria on the Right and divisive recriminations on the Left… So how do we begin to draw out the complexities of anti-Semitism and understand both its specificities and its intersection with other prejudices—particularly anti-Black racism and Islamophobia? … Thankfully, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) has just put out a new resource that speaks to exactly these questions. In addition to serving as a much-needed refresher for those of us who have been grappling with these issues for some time, it’s also an excellent primer for anyone on the Left who’s just starting to navigate these waters.”