By Jenn Ross
On July 11, more than 2,000 people attended the No Fear Rally in Washington, D.C. to fight back against anti-Semitism.
There were numerous powerful speeches, many of them citing the dangerous trend of anti-Semitism being couched as “just” anti-Zionism. They are one and the same and it was helpful hearing allies expressing this belief.
I felt chills as Rabbi Shlomo Noginski, the stabbing victim of a hate crime outside of a Boston Jewish school in July recounted “in those moments, in front of my eyes were the faces of the 100 Jewish children in the camp. I knew I had to protect them, and I did everything I could to keep him away from the school.” Thank G-d, Rabbi Noginski survived to share this with the crowd, but this attack should never have happened.
Others recalled horrific acts of violence, including Rabbi Jeffrey Myers from Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and death threats that they endured simply because they were Jewish and/or demonstrated support and love of Israel.
It is troubling that these rallies need to occur. Our Federation works locally to combat anti-Semitism through Holocaust education, our Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), interfaith outreach, active involvement in Community Responders Network, advocacy work through our partner in which we serve Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition, and strong partnership with ADL Philadelphia. If you encounter any acts of anti-Semitism locally, please bring it to my attention so we can respond.
On the national level, we work with our associations Jewish Federations of North America and Jewish Council for Public Affairs. There is an extensive network of JCRCs and Federations across the country that perform this work in their own communities to speak out against hate. There is still a lot of work to be done and we will continue to work in conjunction with our allies and partners.
The rally can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kr21ah9kBWc. If you attended in person or viewed the recording, I would love to hear your reflections. I can be reached about this or other matters at 717-236-9555 x3104 or firstname.lastname@example.org.