February 18, 2022 — Boston, MA
American Jewish Committee hailed the adoption by Massachusetts of an internationally recognized definition of antisemitism, as Gov. Charlie Baker affirmed the Commonwealth’s commitment to combat all forms of hate.
Baker today issued a proclamation endorsing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition, which AJC had a crucial role in drafting.
“We thank Governor Baker for his leadership in the fight against antisemitism and other forms of hate,” said Rob Leikind, AJC New England regional director. “The IHRA Working Definition is an invaluable tool to educate about antisemitism, help the public recognize acts of antisemitism, and facilitate discussions that enable constructive responses. We look forward to working with the Administration to meet this challenge.”
AJC worked in partnership with other Jewish organizations and academic experts to craft the definition. It was adopted by IHRA in 2016 and is today recognized as the international standard for defining antisemitism. At least a dozen states have now endorsed the definition, along with 33 countries; Secretaries General of the UN and the OAS; the European Parliament; the Obama, Trump and Biden administrations; scores of municipalities, universities, and NGOs, and prominent Massachusetts and New England leaders.
The adoption of the IHRA definition comes on the heels of AJC’s The State of Antisemitism in America 2021, the largest-ever surveys of American Jews and the U.S. public on antisemitism in America. Among its findings were that 90% of American Jews believe antisemitism is a problem, nearly one-quarter reported they experienced antisemitism in the last 12 months and 39% limited their activities or concealed their Jewishness out of safety concerns.