How to respond to antisemitism

We all bear the responsibility to decry antisemitism. Here’s an in-depth explanation of how to respond to antisemitism from American Jewish Committee (AJC).

We all bear the responsibility to decry antisemitism. Here’s an in-depth explanation of how to respond to antisemitism from American Jewish Committee (AJC).

Responding to Antisemitism

First and foremost, we all bear the responsibility to decry antisemitism. When everyone uses their voices to push antisemitism and those who espouse it to the fringes of society, America becomes a safer place not only for Jews, but for all.

Antisemitism is not only a threat to Jews but it is a challenge to our core, democratic values. That is why it is so important for those in a position of power or influence to quickly and clearly condemn any manifestation of antisemitism regardless of its origin and without bias. 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 IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism, to help determine when incidents may be deemed antisemitism.

Responding to the complex nature of antisemitism requires a multi-pronged approach. Below is a top-line summary of the recommendations that are elaborated upon in linked sections.

  • Government leaders at the federalstate, and local levels must speak out, convene cross-society coalitions to demonstrate solidarity, and craft laws that ensure the safety of Jews. 
  • Congress should adopt legislation to enhance Jewish community security, improve hate crimes reporting, and raise awareness of antisemitism. 
  • Law enforcement should work with the Jewish community when antisemitic crimes occur, increase security to Jewish institutions, and accurately record and report antisemitic hate crimes.
  • Social media companies have the responsibility to remove antisemitic content.
  • Media companies and journalists must accurately report on antisemitic incidents and should strive to accurately portray Jews. 
  • Agencies, companies, organizations, and other institutions should have transparent processes and procedures in place to report antisemitism to ensure efficient and effective responses and to ensure a safe environment for everyone, including Jews.
  • DEI (Diversity Equity Inclusion) initiatives should include information about Jewish diversity, Jewish inclusion, and antisemitism.
  • Partners and allies from religious, ethnic, and racial communities across the ideological spectrum should speak out in solidarity with the Jewish community and raise awareness about antisemitism within their own communities.
  • Educational institutions have the responsibility to protect students, staff, and faculty from antisemitism, harassment, and hostile campus environment that are the results of real or perceived Jewish and/or pro-Israel identities.
  • Influencers, celebrities, and athletes can use their wide-reaching platforms to shape awareness by giving voice and context to the issue of antisemitism.
  • While Jews should not bear the responsibility of countering antisemitism alone – just as Blacks should not bear the burden of solving racism while they struggle against it, Jewish communities have a key role to play, from reporting antisemitism, including anti-Jewish hate crimes, to engaging with elected officials, law enforcement, and coalition partners to help ensure a whole-of-society approach to tackling the problem.

Finally, everyone should report anti-Jewish incidents, whether to the FBI or local law enforcement, federal agencies, or social media platforms. In 2023, 39% of U.S. adults witnessed antisemitism in the past year. The vast majority (68%) saw or heard this content online or on social media.

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

Take Action

Antisemitism Resources - Learn More

Back to Top