September 12, 2023 — New York
American Jewish Committee (AJC) today announced its latest step in helping implement the U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, tapping more than 35 lay leaders from across the country to join AJC’s implementation task force.
The group, which includes members of AJC’s national leadership, will work closely with more than 50 AJC staff members to ensure that the whole-of-society recommendations contained in the plan released by President Biden in May are put into action.
AJC CEO Ted Deutch announced the creation of the task force at AJC Global Forum in Tel Aviv this June. Dozens of the proposed action items put forth in the National Strategy incorporated recommendations offered by AJC.
“Task force members will serve as amplifiers and enablers for the National Strategy,” said AJC Board of Governors Chair Bobby Lapin, who will lead the task force. “We know what’s at stake and that the time to act to create a whole-of-society approach to tackle antisemitism is now.”
The task force was mobilized to address rising antisemitism in the United States. In the latest AJC State of Antisemitism in America report, four out of 10 American Jews surveyed said they felt less secure than a year ago. Nine in 10 believe antisemitism is a problem and 82 percent believe antisemitism has worsened in the last five years.
“With more than one hundred recommended actions for agencies in the federal government to take and more than one hundred more actions for sectors like education and law enforcement to tackle, this is a massive undertaking,” AJC CEO Deutch said. “That is why AJC is devoting extensive resources to this task force. We are ready to meet this moment and help effect meaningful and lasting change.”
The lay leaders joining Lapin include AJC President Michael Tichnor, chairs of nine national committees, representatives from AJC’s 25 regional offices, and several at-large national lay leaders.
The committees and chairs are: Advocacy, Bobi Baruch (Westchester/Fairfield); Communications, Matt Coen (St. Louis); Regional Offices, Bob Newmark (St. Louis); Leadership Development, Ilene Engel (Atlanta); Legal, Richard Rosen (New York); Contemporary Jewish Life, Harriet Schleifer (Westchester/Fairfield); International Relations, Jeff Stone (Chicago); Interreligious Affairs, Amy Ragen (Seattle); National Policy, Melanie Nelkin (Atlanta).
AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. With headquarters in New York City, 25 offices across the United States, and 14 overseas posts, as well as partnerships with 38 Jewish community organizations worldwide, AJC's mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world.