Jewish Communities Action Items

Recommendations for Jewish Communities,
as part of AJC's Call to Action
Against Antisemitism in America.

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AJC's Call to Action Against Antisemitism - A Society-Wide Nonpartisan Guide for America - Learn More

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Antisemitism has a deep impact on the lives of Jews in the United States around the world. 93% of American Jews say antisemitism is a problem in the U.S. today, and almost half (46%) of American Jews changed their behavior in at least one way in the past year out of fear of antisemitism. While the Jewish community cannot fight antisemitism alone – and should not be expected to do so – there are considerable actions that individual Jews, Jewish leaders, and their communities can take to raise awareness of the problem of antisemitism and engage policymakers and community leaders to counter its spread.

Particularly in the aftermath of October 7, 2023, following Hamas’ horrific attacks on Israel, the subsequent war in Israel, and the surging antisemitism across the globe, Jewish communities must be prepared for threats and incidents, and act intentionally to respond and prevent.

Please note that the suggestions offered below are not exhaustive. There is always more that can be done.

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Understanding Antisemitism

Help members of the Jewish community explain antisemitism Antisemitism can be difficult to explain because it is motivated by disparate ideologies and can take many forms, not just swastikas sprayed outside a synagogue, or graves desecrated at a Jewish cemetery, for example. Holocaust trivializationdenial, and distortion are an expression of antisemitism as well as holding all Jews accountable for the actions of the State of Israel. 

AJC’s Translate Hate glossary helps identify different sources of antisemitism and exposes antisemitic tropes, words, and symbols that often hide in plain sight. AJC’s State of Antisemitism in America 2023 Report provides data about how American Jews perceive and experience antisemitism. 

AJC can partner with you by offering educational trainings on recognizing, responding to, and preventing antisemitism. These trainings will enable your congregation, membership, and/or partners to speak out when antisemitism and other forms of hate occur in your communities. To inquire, contact

Ensure broad awareness of ties to Israel | According to AJC’s State of Antisemitism in America 2023 Report, 80% of Jews say caring about Israel is an important part of how they think about their Jewish identities. Many American Jews feel a historical, religious, or cultural connection to Israel, regardless of politics. Judaism as a religion is integrally tied to the land, to the city of Jerusalem, and other holy sites. Jews have lived continuously in the region for thousands of years. Coming out of two millennia of persecution, not least the Holocaust, many Jews see Israel as the only place where they can live free from fear and persecution. The October 7th Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel, the most deadly against the Jewish people since the Holocaust, have reopened deep wounds for many in the Jewish community. 

Particularly in the aftermath of October 7, 2023, it is critical that American Jews be equipped and empowered to explain not only the Jewish connection to Israel, but also, when anti-Zionism crosses the line to outright antisemitism. While it is not antisemitic to criticize actions of the State of Israel, denying Jews’ right to national self-determination, calling for the elimination of Israel, solely focusing on Israel but no other country, and/or attributing to Jews actual or perceived wrongs by the Israeli government is antisemitism. 

Empower and equip young Jews | The resources in AJC’s evergrowing Campus Library can help Jewish students and parents be the best advocates for themselves and the Jewish people in the classroom and beyond. High school students can apply to participate in AJC’s Leaders for Tomorrow (LFT) education and advocacy program for teens that empowers young Jews to speak up for Israel and the Jewish people. LFT helps high school students develop a strong Jewish identity and trains them as advocates for Israel, and to be voices against antisemitism. Contact for additional information.

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Responding to Antisemitism

Encourage reporting | When antisemitism occurs, report it, whether to local law enforcement, the FBI, the Department of Education, or social media companies. Underreporting by the Jewish community creates gaps in how law enforcement, government, and civil society understand the problem. According to AJC’s State of Antisemitism in America 2023 Report79% of American Jews who reported being targeted by an antisemitic remark in person did not report it. One reason why many Jews do not report is that they believe nothing will change (resignation in fighting antisemitism) and/or it is not serious enough (normalization of antisemitism). 

Contact local law enforcement to report suspicious activity, as well as the Secure Community Network (SCN), the official safety and security organization of the Jewish community in North America. SCN’s Duty Desk, available 24/7/365 via or by calling 844-SCN-DESK, is an invaluable service for helping local Jewish communities with law enforcement issues. Submit a tip to the FBI online at or by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324). 

It is also critical to report antisemitism online and on social media. 62% of American Jews experienced antisemitism online or on social media in the last 12 months, yet only 35% of them reported the incident to the social media platform. Don’t be silent when you see an instance of antisemitism or other forms of hatred on social media. Report it to the platform directly. For more instructions on how to report, see AJC’s resource on “Reporting Antisemitism.” 

Facilitate coordination with law enforcement | Rabbis and Jewish communal leaders can ask their mayors and/or local law enforcement to establish a liaison to serve as a central coordinator for relationships with the local Jewish community or interfaith associations to be a central point of contact on security needs. The Secure Community Network can also be an important partner here.

Work to improve hate crime reporting | Year after year, Jews are the largest target of all religiously motivated hate crimes, despite accounting for just 2% of the U.S. population according to the FBI’s 2022 Hate Crimes Statistics report. That report also highlights gross underreporting of hate crimes in cities across the U.S., including dozens of cities with 100,000 or more residents, significantly hindering our nation’s ability to effectively counter rising antisemitism and all forms of hate. According to AJC’s State of Antisemitism in America 2023 Report, over nine in 10 Americans, both Jewish and non-Jewish, say it is important that law enforcement be required to report hate crimes to a federal government database. Partner with AJC’s regional offices to engage with local governments and law enforcement and intensify efforts to improve state and national hate crime reporting. 

Inaccurate, incomplete, and simply absent hate crime data has stymied efforts to formulate effective responses. It is impossible to address hate crimes when we do not understand their extent. Vast gaps in reporting must be closed. 

Convene coalitions and urge response | Coalitions are crucial to responding to hate of any form. Because antisemitic incidents are irregularly reported by the media, do not assume that partners are aware of threats or attacks. Jewish communal organizations and synagogues can play a leading role as convenors of partners from local businesses, organizations, civil society leaders, interfaith and intergroup, and other stakeholders when antisemitism occurs to discuss a path forward. Urge partners to issue condemnations when appropriate. Strong statements of condemnation should come immediately and should:

  • Specifically name and condemn antisemitism when it occurs, even in the larger context of free speech. 
  • Offer pathways forward, including resources for victims, that can help the community heal while also proactively addressing antisemitism by generating an improved understanding of Jewish history, identity, and heritage. 

Define antisemitism. Dozens of cities and municipalities across the country—as well as corporations, sports leagues, and universities— have embraced the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, to help determine when incidents may be deemed antisemitism. Referencing the illustrative examples included in the IHRA Working Definition can bolster condemnations.

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Preventing Antisemitism

Build interfaith and intergroup connectionsAJC’s State of Antisemitism in America 2023 Report found that nine in 10 Americans, both Jewish and non-Jewish, say that it is important for Jewish communities and other religious and ethnic communities to increase cooperation with each other.

  • Identify potential allies | Your nearest AJC regional office can help you connect with exemplary cross-community partnerships, such as AJC’s Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council (MJAC) and Latino Jewish Leadership Council, and coalitions, such as AJC’s Hindu-Jewish coalitions, Black/Jewish coalitions, and Christian-Jewish coalitions. Rabbis can also consider tapping into local interfaith clergy councils that facilitate interfaith programming and fuel community activism. Connect Jewish youth groups with youth groups from a diverse range of religious communities to develop and incorporate multi-faith social activities, service events, and educational programming into their programs. 
  • Improve education and empower allies | The importance of education in the fight against hatred cannot be overstated. For coalition partners, learning about Jewish history and the societal problem of antisemitism can help develop a deeper understanding of Jews, their values, their fears, and the need for non-Jewish bystanders to not stay quiet in the face of Jewish attacks. AJC has developed resources and can provide expert trainers to give partners and potential allies increased understanding and the tools and inspiration to speak up when they hear speech that is antisemitic or witness antisemitic discrimination. 
  • Celebrate each other’s cultures and raise awareness of important holidays | Seek out opportunities to engage with partners within diverse communities during Hispanic Heritage Month, Black History Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and so on; and ask them to help the Jewish community celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month. Jewish leaders also play an important role in proactively creating awareness of religious cultures, practices, and needed accommodations of religious observances. This is especially critical for ensuring that official calendars for public schools and elections consider the major holidays of religious groups of all faith communities. 

Improve security to protect minority communities | In Fiscal Year 2023, the Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program will provide $305 million to train staff and protect minority-affiliated institutions and houses of worship. Raise awareness of these grants with eligible partners and urge participation. In addition, Jewish community members, particularly leaders in Jewish institutions and synagogues, should participate in security training to be prepared in case of an emergency. The Secure Community Network offers numerous training opportunities to ensure Jewish institutions are prepared for any potential threats or incidents. 

Depoliticize antisemitism | The Jewish community must not let the fight against antisemitism be used as a weapon in partisan politics. If elected officials politicize antisemitism, call it out– regardless of political party. When antisemitism is invoked injudiciously, we devalue its meaning and damage the fight. The Jewish community itself is not immune from this. When Jewish organizations or Jewish community leaders try to use the fight against antisemitism for political purposes, these actions are unhelpful at best and detract from real antisemitism at worst. 

Engage school leadership | Anti-Jewish prejudice and incidents are a growing concern on both U.S. college campuses and at an increasing number of secondary schools. According to AJC's State of Antisemitism in America 2023 Report, for American Jews with current or recent college experience, 25% say they have avoided wearing or carrying things that identify them as Jewish, and 24% say they have felt uncomfortable or unsafe at a campus event because they are Jewish. 

Educational institutions have the responsibility to protect students, staff, and faculty from antisemitism, harassment, and hostile campus and school environments that are the results of real or perceived Jewish and/or pro-Israel identities. Synagogues and organizations can bring together Jewish educators, teachers, and parents to meet with school administrators or superintendents to raise awareness of antisemitism and ensure that there are clear and transparent mechanisms for students to report hate incidents. AJC has myriad resources for students, parents, and schools. For more information, contact or

Plan for Jewish American Heritage Month | Plan for Jewish American Heritage Month, which occurs in May. Jewish American Heritage Month is an opportunity for all Americans to get to know and understand the diversity within the Jewish community. Being Jewish is not just about religion, but also a people, culture, and group that has contributed so much throughout our nation's history. At a moment when the American Jewish community is feeling excluded from and unwelcome in too many spaces, this month and this initiative are more important than ever. 

AJC offers many resources specifically designed to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month, including videos, podcasts, and information on Jewish contributions to our country. AJC can also help plan Jewish community events to recognize this month. Raising awareness of this important heritage month within the Jewish community is vital, as recent data shows only 24% of American Jews say they have heard anything about Jewish American Heritage Month.

Acknowledge International Holocaust Remembrance Day | Acknowledge International Holocaust Remembrance Day, designated by the United Nations to take place annually on January 27. Rabbis and Jewish communal leaders should issue public statements, encourage Holocaust education, and hold community events reaffirming the fundamental guiding lesson of the Holocaust: never again. AJC's State of Antisemitism in America 2022 Report found that U.S. adults who are more knowledgeable about the Holocaust have a greater awareness of the problem of antisemitism compared to those with less knowledge about the Holocaust: they are more likely to say antisemitism is a serious problem in the U.S. (72% vs 63%), to say antisemitism has increased over the past five years (53% vs 39%), and to have seen an antisemitic incident (41% vs 30%). 

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