NEW YORK, NY, July 20, 2021 – Amid an alarming rise in antisemitic rhetoric and violence, the Union for Reform Judaism, which represents the largest and most diverse Jewish movement in North America, and ADL (Anti-Defamation League), the world’s leading anti-hate organization, will join together in a multifaceted partnership to provide Reform congregations with the tools needed to address antisemitism in their communities.
The newly launched partnership will link the expertise of ADL and the resources of the URJ to better equip the Jewish community to respond to and prevent antisemitic attacks, beginning with a new online incident reporting form tailored specifically to Reform congregations and their members. The new partnership also includes collaboration around advocacy and educating youth about antisemitism.
“The scourge of antisemitism is not isolated to any one source or in any one community,” said Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism. “The Reform Movement and ADL have long been partners in addressing and working against antisemitism, racism and other acts of injustice. This critical collaboration will further integrate that work. It could not come at a more pressing moment with rising vandalism and violent threats on congregations, assaults on Jewish individuals, and an increase in antisemitic rhetoric and conspiracy theories from all sides. Our community knows all too well that when hatred against one group is allowed to fester, bigotry imperils us all.”
“Antisemitic incidents are on the rise in the U.S., but we know that without complete and accurate data we do not have a full picture of the problem,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director. “Through this partnership we hope to encourage more reporting to help raise awareness of the threats facing the Jewish community, and to leverage our combined resources to convince policymakers of the need to devote more resources to combating extremism while ensuring the safety and security of our communities.”
Greenblatt and Rabbi Jacobs will officially launch the partnership during a webinar at 8:00 p.m. EDT on July 27 - Responding with Intention: Preparing our communities to respond to acts of antisemitism and hate. The public webinar will also feature remarks from Yolanda Savage-Narva, Director for Racial Equity, Diversity, Inclusion for the URJ, and Carly Pildis, Associate Director of Community Engagement for ADL. It will be moderated by Barbara Weinstein, Director of the Commission on Social Action and Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
Additionally, In the coming weeks and months, more resources will become available including:
- A digital incident reporting mechanism that will allow those impacted by antisemitic incidents or acts of hate to document their experiences. The incident reports will be evaluated by ADL and URJ, and both organizations will follow up when appropriate to provide assistance. The reports will also be evaluated for inclusion in ADL’s Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, an annual tally of acts of hatred against Jews.
- A substantial online and print resource that provides both congregations and individuals with the tools to effectively respond to acts of antisemitism and hate in their communities.
- A new level of partnership between ADL and the URJ youth team, providing teens with education on standing up to antisemitism and hate in their communities and online.
- A more structured cooperation and coordination effort led by the government affairs teams around shared policy advocacy priorities, including fighting antisemitism and building a more just and inclusive society.
During the conflict between Israel and Hamas in May 2021, ADL tracked a doubling of antisemitic incidents compared to the same period in 2020. ADL logged 251 incidents from May 11 through the end of the month, an increase of 115 percent. A total of 305 incidents were tallied across the U.S. for the entire month of May 2021.
ABOUT THE UNION FOR REFORM JUDAISM
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) builds community at every level—from the way we collaborate with congregations, organizations, and individuals to how we make connections across North America to advance contemporary and inclusive Jewish life. Providing vision and voice to transform the way people connect to Judaism, we help congregations stay relevant and innovative, motivate more young Jews to embrace Jewish living, agitate for a more progressive society, and foster meaningful connections to Israel.
Founded in 1873, URJ has grown into the largest and most powerful force in North American Jewish life, with nearly 850 member congregations and work that inspires, connects, and educates millions of people. Our legacy, reach, leadership, and vision mean that we can unite thousands of years of tradition with a modern, evolving Judaism to strengthen Jewish communities today and for future generations.
Visit us at www.URJ.org to learn about our social justice initiatives, camps and programs for young Jews, services for congregations and communities, and how you can work with us to create a more just, whole, and compassionate world. Enjoy related content at ReformJudaism.org and connect with URJ on Twitter and Facebook.
ABOUT THE ADL
ADL is a leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of antisemitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. ADL is the first call when acts of antisemitism occur. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education and fighting hate online, ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate. More at www.adl.org.