American Jewish Committee (AJC) today joined with the National Urban League and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in the relaunch of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Black-Jewish Relations.

The Caucus, which was first launched at AJC Global Forum in 2019, will be co-chaired in the House of Representatives for the 118th Congress by Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-FL; Nikema Williams, D-GA; and Wesley Hunt, R-TX.

At AJC Virtual Global Forum 2021, three senators, Cory Booker, D-NJ, Jacky Rosen, D-NV, and Tim Scott, R-SC, announced the launch of the Senate Caucus on Black-Jewish Relations.

“AJC’s mission is to enhance the wellbeing of Jewish people and defend democratic values, and promoting pluralism is core to that mission,” AJC CEO Ted Deutch said. “The Black and Jewish communities have long shared a common cause fighting discrimination and hate. At a time of rising antisemitism and racism, we applaud this bipartisan effort to bring our communities together.”  

AJC formed a Black/Jewish Coalition in Atlanta in 1982, to ensure open dialogue and partnership between the two communities.

FBI statistics show that the Black community is the victim of the majority of hate crimes in the U.S. while Jews are the victims of most religiously motivated hate crimes.

"As an organization committed to equity, inclusion, and the fight against discrimination and hate, the National Urban League proudly supports the relaunch of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus of Black-Jewish Relations," National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said. "Together, we stand united in our pursuit of a just and equal society, where the bonds of solidarity between our communities are strengthened and bigotry of all forms is confronted and defeated. As we join hands in this renewed alliance, we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to building bridges, fostering dialogue, and advancing social justice for the betterment of all."

AJC partnered with the National Urban League in 2020 to create Black-Jewish Unity Week.

ADL also took part in the relaunch of the Caucus for the 118th Congress. 

"ADL is proud to celebrate the relaunch of the bipartisan-led Congressional Caucus on Black-Jewish Relations in our nation's House of Representatives. At a time when hate-fueled rhetoric and attacks are on the rise, we are heartened to witness our leaders’ commitment to unity -- irrespective of political party,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. “We are honored to support the Caucus' efforts to educate members of Congress on rising hate and antisemitism, and to provide opportunities for them to engage their own constituents, advancing change in Washington and around the country.”

The goals of the Caucus include raising awareness of each community’s sensitivities and needs in Congress and around the country and providing resources to members of Congress to bring Black and Jewish communities together to combat hate and stereotypes.

“Jewish tradition teaches that it is incumbent upon us to speak out and act against injustice. African American and Jewish communities have a long, shared history of confronting discrimination and racism in the United States, and the recent rise of white supremacy, bigotry and antisemitism poses a direct threat to both of our communities,” Wasserman Schultz said. “This Caucus will build upon our historic fight for a better, more peaceful world, while also raising awareness in Congress about the common issues facing our communities.”

“I am honored to have been chosen to Co-Chair the Black Jewish Caucus in the 118th Congress,” Hunt said. “There should be zero tolerance for racism and antisemitism in our country, which our caucus will vehemently fight against. I look forward to celebrating our rich cultures and bringing awareness to Congress and our districts about the issues impacting Black and Jewish Americans.”

“Black and Jewish communities – especially in Atlanta – have a long history of fighting shoulder to shoulder for equality,” Williams said. “I look forward to writing a new chapter of that history with my Black-Jewish Relations Caucus Co-Chairs Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Wesley Hunt, and every member of the caucus. My friend and predecessor, John Lewis, founded the Black-Jewish Relations Caucus in recognition of our two communities’ commitment to justice. I will keep building on Congressman Lewis’ legacy as the Black-Jewish Relations Caucus creates a country where everyone can thrive.” 

AJC, the National Urban League, and ADL were part of a coalition that advocated for the passage of the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, which incentivizes law enforcement agencies to improve hate crime identification, data collection, and reporting, and for states to establish hate crime hotlines.

AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. With headquarters in New York, 25 offices across the United States, 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.