Confronting world-wide antisemitism

July 25, 2023 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Major Jewish organizations in Australia, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Argentina have announced the formation of the J7, the Large Communities’ Task Force Against Antisemitism.

The task force will consist of the following member organizations and nations represented:

  • The United States: ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
  • The United Kingdom: Board of Deputies of British Jews
  • France: Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF)
  • Germany: Central Council of Jews in Germany
  • Canada: Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)
  • Argentina: Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas (DAIA)
  • Australia: Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ)

In addition to top-level consultations, the J7 will organize a number of working groups comprised of experts from each community to develop strategies and action plans within areas such as policy and advocacy, tech policy, security, extremism, and education against antisemitism.

The formation of the J7 Global Task Force comes at a time when data from around the world indicates a rise in antisemitic incidents and attitudes, and growing concern within our Jewish communities who are confronting this rise.

Leaders of these seven communities shared their perspectives of the importance of this collaboration:

Argentina – Jorge Knoblovits, President, DAIA: “To be part of J7, represents for the DAIA a great responsibility as one of the world’s largest Jewish communities and the only one in Latin America. J7 will allow us to have a greater understanding of the challenges faced by world Jewry in the areas of antisemitism, Holocaust remembrance and other hate-related topics. To be part of J7, led by ADL,ensures that the perspective of Latin American Jews will have a global reach.”

Peter Wertheim

Australia – Peter Wertheim, Co-CEO, Executive Council of Australian Jewry: “Antisemitism is a disease of the human spirit that eats away at the foundations of civilisation everywhere. It is not limited by geographical borders, ideology or creed.  It is a global phenomenon that requires a global response.  As the elected peak representative body of the Australian Jewish community, we are pleased to join our colleagues from organisations representing other major Jewish communities in the diaspora to co-ordinate our efforts to combat antisemitism and maximise our impact.”

Canada – Shimon Fogel, President and CEO, CIJA: “What starts with the Jews, never ends with the Jews. There is a global imperative to confront antisemitism and drawing on the expertise and strength of the J7 coalition is an important catalyst for universal action.”

France – Robert J. Ejnes, Executive Director, CRIF: “If antisemitism exists everywhere in the world, it is in Europe that it has been brought to its climax. Together with the J7 task force, we will look at the resurgence of antisemitism in all its forms, whether Islamist, conspiratorial, hatred of Israel or Holocaust denial, from wherever it originates. Together, we will monitor the expressions of hate and fight for a better tomorrow.”

Germany – Dr. Josef Schuster, President, Central Council of Jews in Germany: “The internet, as a means of fast and easy communication, increasingly blurs national borders. Similarly, antisemitic networks, tactics and developments don’t stop at national borders either. We endorse this additional opportunity for exchange in the J7 format, which will facilitate interaction between representatives of Jewish communities at this level. Together we will approach globally operating institutions or companies and unite our efforts in combatting antisemitism.”

UK – Marie van der Zyl OBE, President, Board of Deputies of British Jews: “Antisemitism knows no geographic boundaries.  The Board of Deputies looks forward to being part of this international coalition of leading Jewish organisations, each at the forefront of the fight against the challenges posed by the rise of this global hatred. By working together, we strengthen our ability to tackle antisemitism wherever it emerges.” 

U.S. – William C. Daroff, CEO, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations: “Antisemitism, which is the world’s oldest hatred, no longer looks or spreads the way it did in the past. The vitriol once felt for individual Jews or Jewish practice, has metastasized into blaming the Jewish people and the Jewish state for the ills of the world. Social media enables antisemitic hate to cross borders, where it spreads faster than ever before. It is therefore imperative for the largest diaspora Jewish communities to engage in regular conversation to develop strategies to combat the pernicious spread of antisemitism. What impacts one community, impacts us all.”

U.S. — Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO: “Antisemitism is rising around the world, especially in countries where there are large Jewish populations. And threats to our communities are not contained by continents and borders. We needed to meet these challenges through coordinated action. This new coalition of major organizations representing seven large Jewish Diaspora communities in liberal democracies will provide a formal framework for coordination, consultation and formulating global responses to antisemitic threats against the Jewish people.”

The J7 leadership will meet periodically on zoom and in-person, including at ADL’s 2024 Never is Now Summit on March 4-7, 2024.

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