Antisemitism and Hate

Antisemitism and hate of all forms have surged in recent years, highlighting the critical need to improve tracking, response to, and prevention of hate crimes, white supremacist violence, and the spread of online hate. Much of our intergroup work focuses on increasing partnerships and understanding as a way to combat hate. JCRC is proactive in addressing antisemitism through two initiatives:

Through a Partnership for Public Good High Roads Fellowship, JCRC researched “State of Hate in Greater Buffalo: A Community Perspective,” by Cornell University student Raquel Zohar. A key finding was that while hate and antisemitism exist in Greater Buffalo, recent data from multiple sources indicate a relatively low hate crime frequency here, especially when compared with New York City. Additionally, there are over 60 community organizations in the Buffalo-Niagara region dedicated to promoting a civil, just society; and over 30 fighting hate.

Read the full study here: State of Hate in Greater Buffalo: A Community Perspective

Adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism
Buffalo Jewish Federation adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism as non-legally binding guidance for recognizing antisemitic activity or determining whether an alleged act was motivated by antisemitism. (Dec 2020)

International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) non-legally binding Working Definition of Antisemitism:
“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

Examples of how IHRA definition can be used:

  • A tool when engaging and educating policymakers, law enforcement, educators, and community leaders, as well as other Jewish and non-Jewish community partners.
  • Encourage the IHRA definition’s use as guidance for educators, judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials in recognizing antisemitic activity or determining whether an alleged act was motivated by discriminatory antisemitic intent.

Here is information and contacts if you or someone you know has experienced antisemitism or hate.

Note: All criminal hate activity should be reported to law enforcement; If you or someone you know has been harmed or threatened, or if this an emergency, please call 911.

 

What is Antisemitic Activity? These are not exhaustive or exclusive.

Antisemitic activity includes overt acts or expressions of anti-Jewish bigotry and hostility. Activity includes:

  • Speech– written or verbal communication by groups or individuals, including public, elected, or religious figures. This includes publicly or privately directed letters, phone conversations, articles, speeches, e-mail, or other Internet communication.
  • Vandalism– damage or other criminal activity against public or private property.
  • Harassment, Threats, and Assaults- directed at individuals or institutions
  • Discrimination –denial of employment, education, services, housing, or organizational membership
  • Hate Group Activity– Rallies, recruitment, or other activities organized or sponsored by groups such as the Ku Klux Klan or other white supremacist groups

 

Where do I report Antisemitic activity or other acts of hate?

No one should be mistreated because of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability. If you or your child have experienced or witnessed an incident of bias, hatred, or bigotry:

  1. Notify the school or business where the event took place-try to give as much detail as possible regarding the incident. If graffiti or vandalism was involved, try to take pictures.
  2. Notify Buffalo Jewish Federation Security Coordinator Susan DeMari, sdemari@buffalojewishfederation.org. Susan has relationships with all level of law enforcement in Buffalo and Erie County and is dedicated to supporting the security needs of the Jewish community.

 

Where can I find local advocates and assistance?

When hate strikes, it is easy to feel isolated. Please know that there are organizations here in Buffalo prepared to support and assist you.

  1. Buffalo Jewish Community Relations Council is equipped to advocate on your behalf and provide helpful resources as needed for schools and businesses.
    Contact Mara Koven-Gelman: mara@buffalojewishfederation.org
  2. Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo has a wide range of school and community education programs including teacher training workshops, in-school visits and presentations.
    Contact Elizabeth Schram: elizabeth@hrcbuffalo.org.
  3. Jewish Family Service of Buffalo and Erie County is here to help you or a loved one work through the trauma and help you cope with the experience of antisemitism.  No one should have to heal alone.
    Contact Matthew Stewart: mstweart@jfsbuffalo.org.

Report incidents of racism or antisemitism here: