Under the leadership of American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas’ Jewish Community Relations Council (Dallas JCRC), over 50 synagogues, Jewish communal organizations, rabbis and mayors have signed the statement below in support of HB 3257, a bipartisan bill that would establish  a Texas State Commission on Antisemitism and codify the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism for the state.  This letter of support will be distributed widely throughout the Texas legislature in support of the bill.

PLEASE CO-AUTHOR & SUPPORT HB 3257 by Rep. Phil King

Relating to the creation of the Texas Commission on Antisemitism

Joint Authors: Rep. Craig Goldman, Rep. Tan Parker, Rep. Joe Moody, Rep. Ana Hernandez, Rep. Mayes Middleton

Voted 9-0 in the Texas House Culture, Recreation and Tourism Committee

The following Texas Jewish communal organizations support House Bill 3257, relating to the creation of the Texas Commission on Antisemitism.  We hope that our support from across the state can advance this important measure to combat antisemitism in Texas. A recent survey by the American Jewish Committee found that nearly nine in ten American Jews (88%) believe antisemitism in the U.S. today is a very serious (37%) or somewhat of a (51%) problem, and more than four out of every five Jews (82%) say antisemitism has increased over the past five years.

HB 3257 creates a 9-person Commission on Antisemitism to inform and guide the Governor and the Legislature. The bill also highlights the need for a universally accepted definition of antisemitism. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, as contained in this bill, is widely considered the preeminent international standard and provides a comprehensive and authoritative description of antisemitism accompanied by a set of practical examples that can be used in context to determine whether something is or is not antisemitic. These include discrimination and hatred of Jews, conspiracy theories, Holocaust denial, and antisemitism as it can sometimes relate to Israel.

The United States makes use of the IHRA Working Definition at the federal level; the Department of State uses the definition in its International Religious Freedom report and to understand and counter antisemitism around the world, and the Department of Education uses the definition when determining Title VI discrimination against Jewish students.  To date, 29 nations across the globe have adopted the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism.

Although Jews account for only 2% of the American population, the most recent FBI Hate Crimes Statistics report found that more than 60% of religious-based hate crimes in 2019 targeted Jews, Jewish institutions, and houses of worship. This represents a 14% increase over 2018.

Adoption of this bill will allow Texas to lead the nation in combating antisemitism and hate at a critical time.  We respectfully urge the Texas Legislature to support House Bill 3257.

Jewish Communal Organizations

ADL Texas (ADL Austin, ADL Southwest (Houston)
 and ADL Texoma (Dallas))
American Jewish Committee – Dallas
American Jewish Committee – Houston
B'nai B'rith Isadore Garsek Lodge #269
Camp Young Judaea – Texas
Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum
Greater Southwest Region of Hadassah
Hebrew Free Loan of Austin
Hillel at SMU
Hillels of North Texas
Holocaust Museum Houston
Houston Rabbinical Association
Jewish Family Service Houston
The Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas and its Jewish Community Relations Council
Jewish Federation of Greater El Paso
Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County
Jewish Federation of Greater Houston
Jewish Federation of San Antonio
Jewish National Fund-USA, Southwest Region
Rabbinic Association of Greater Dallas
Shalom Austin
Southwest Jewish Congress
Texas A & M Hillel 
Texas Hillel


Congregation Adat Chaverim, Plano
Congregation Ahavath Sholom, Fort Worth
Congregation Anshai Torah, Plano
Congregation Beth El, Fort Worth
Congregation Beth Israel, Austin
Congregation Beth Israel, Colleyville
Congregation Beth Shalom of the Woodlands
Congregation Beth Torah, Richardson
Congregation Beth Yeshurun, Houston
Congregation Emanu El, Houston
Congregation Kol Halev, Austin
Congregation Nishmat Am, Plano 
Congregation Ohr HaTorah, Dallas
Congregation Or Ami, Houston
Congregation Shearith Israel, Dallas
Congregation Shir Tikvah, Frisco
Congregation Tiferet Israel, Austin
Temple Emanu-el Dallas
Temple Shalom, Dallas
Temple Sinai, Houston


Rabbi Andrew Bloom, Forth Worth
Rabbi Neil F. Blumofe, Congregation Adudas Achim, Austin
Rabbi Gordon Estes, Houston
Rabbi Allan Freedman, Austin
Cantor Vicki Glikin, Dallas
Rabbi Edwin Goldberg, The Woodlands
Rabbi Marci Greene, Houston
Rabbi Kimberly Herzog Cohen, Dallas
Rabbi David Lyon, Congregation Beth Israel, Houston
Rabbi Dan Millner, Austin
Rabbi Andrew Paley, Dallas
Rabbi Brian Strauss, Houston


Mayor Thurman Bill Bartie, Port Arthur
Mayor Dr. Craig Brown, Galveston
Mayor Michael A. Evans, Sr, Mansfield
Mayor Ron Nirenberg, San Antonio
Mayor Sylvester Turner, Houston

More regional news

Back to Top