Standing up to Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism is on the rise here in New York, across the United States, and in Europe. That’s why we organized the historic “No Hate. No Fear.” solidarity march, to loudly and proudly show the world that we will never cede to hate, and we will never allow anti-Semitism to diminish us. To help keep communities safe, we’re taking significant steps to increase security for the 2,000 Jewish organizations and synagogues in the New York area. We’re forging alliances and building bridges of greater understanding with our neighbors so we can stand united against hate. And we’re empowering college students to advocate against anti-Zionism, which often crosses the line into anti-Semitism. We’re investing in the safety of our community so we can live full and meaningful Jewish lives.

The Facts:

  • In December 2019, a kosher supermarket is the target of a shooting in Jersey City; later in the month, a rabbi’s home in Monsey becomes the scene of a brutal knife attack.
  • Visibly Jewish individuals are attacked in Brooklyn with alarming frequency.
  • On Yom Kippur, October 9, 2019, in Halle, Germany, a gunman attempts to attack a synagogue.
  • In April 2019, six months after the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh, a gunman storms the Chabad synagogue in Poway, California.
  • In 2019, the New York City Police Department releases data showing more than half of all reported hate crimes in the city were anti-Jewish.
  • An ADL annual survey finds 1,879 anti-Semitic incidents across the U.S. in 2018, the third highest number since 1979.
  • Nine in ten French Jewish students report suffering campus anti-Semitism.
  • France reports a 74% increase in anti-Semitic incidents over last year.
  • Germany sees the number of violent attacks against Jews surge over 60%.

Our Impact:

In New York

  • We're bringing our community together in the face of anti-Semitism.
    On January 5, 2020, we brought 25,000 people — Jews and non-Jews together — to march from Foley Square across the Brooklyn Bridge under the banner of "No Hate. No Fear." The historic march and the rally that followed were conceived and funded by UJA, and planned along with the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. A parallel rally took place in Jerusalem, and nearly 200 organizations participated with delegations from Cleveland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Montreal, and Toronto. Dozens of elected officials — including our senior most political leaders from the state, city, and Congress — joined us. We came together as proud Jewish New Yorkers dedicated to saying “no to hate and “no to fear." See photos and press coverage.

    “The point of the march was not simply to walk across a bridge, but rather to build better bridges. Between all denominations of Jews. Between Jews and non-Jews. So that we can more effectively combat anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred together.”
    — Eric S. Goldstein, UJA CEO

  • We’re significantly enhancing security in the New York area. 
    UJA is investing $4 million over two years to enhance the physical security of the approximately 2,000 Jewish institutions in the New York area. Funding will be used in the following ways:

    • Locally Based Security Directors
      After a nationwide search, we hired Mitchell D. Silber, one of the city’s top security professionals and former NYPD Director of Intelligence Analysis, to the newly created position of Community Security Director. Under the auspices of the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Westchester Jewish Council, Mitchell will lead the team of five locally based security directors who will be based in Long Island, Westchester, Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. They will work directly with synagogues, schools, and other Jewish and local law enforcement, providing hands-on, targeted support.

    • Camp Security
      We’re also creating a new position to support the specific security needs at New York’s Jewish day camps and residential camps. Working with the Secure Community Network (SCN) and the Foundation for Jewish Camp, this professional will manage training programs and share best practices for keeping our campers and campgrounds safe.

    • Jewish Community Security Notification System
      We’re enhancing a communication system to connect all Jewish institutions in New York, allowing for real-time notifications and alerts as needed. Learning from other communities that have systems like these, we’re optimizing our model for New York.

    • Training Volunteers
      We’re supporting the Community Security Service (CSS) to help onboard volunteer security teams at local synagogues and other Jewish institutions.

Read the testimonials of Jewish leaders from across the New York area whose institutions have been able to update their security, with thanks to our support.

  • We're helping organizations access government security funding.

    • We’ve helped provide safety reviews for 200 Jewish day schools, synagogues, and community centers — an important first step in accessing government funds.

    • We’re also providing loans to nonprofits that received security grants but can’t afford to pay for security enhancements while awaiting government reimbursement.

    • As a direct result of our advocacy, the state government last year increased capital security funding for institutions that are at risk of hate crimes from $25 million to $45 million, and added summer camps to those that qualify for this funding.

    • Working with Jewish Federations of North America, we helped drive an increase in federal funding for nonprofit security, including houses of worship, from $25 million in 2017 to $60 million in 2018.

    • We also continued working with New York City government to ensure $19.6 million remains in the budget for security officers in non-public schools.

  • We’re building strong coalitions and forging alliances with our neighbors.
    We’re supporting leadership training and helping to create interfaith networks that keep New Yorkers of all backgrounds focused on issues of common cause.

    • We’re strengthening community relations efforts, including building strategic partnerships and coalitions with non-Jewish groups, many of whom are also facing hatred.

    • One example: We’re partnering with Neighbors in Action, Repair the World, and Chevra Ahavas Yisroel to pilot dinners with young adults from African American and Haredi communities who live in Crown Heights. The goal? To break down stereotypes and prejudices through a facilitated conversation and shared meal.

  • We’re empowering college students.
    We’re funding programs to give student and faculty leaders tools to engage in healthy discourse about Israel on campus. To learn more about how we're combating BDS, read here.

    • We’re funding programs to give student and faculty leaders tools to engage in healthy discourse about Israel on campus — and advocated against anti-Zionism.

    • In partnering with JCRC-NY, last year alone, we brought 150 university diversity officers, high-level student-facing faculty, and student leaders of all backgrounds to Israel. These trips help participants gain a more nuanced understanding of issues related to Israel, which is crucial to gaining support in combating BDS on campus. To learn more about how we're combating BDS, read here.

    • One example: Through our funding, the Bronfman Center Interfaith Entrepreneur Fellowship provides training in coalition building to Jewish student leaders from 15 New York area colleges. These fellows will engage with other student leaders to develop positive relationships and a foundation for support that can help ease tensions that may flare over BDS activities and anti-Zionism

In Europe

  • We’re enhancing security in Europe. Through our international partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, we’re helping to enhance security at Jewish schools, community centers, and synagogues across Europe.

    • Security assessments identify critical ways to upgrade infrastructure and funding puts those changes into action, including installing closed-circuit videos, bulletproof windows, and intercoms. Community members also receive training on how to recognize and report possible threats.

    • In Halle, Germany, funds from the Jewish Agency’s Security Assistance Fund paid for the synagogue’s fortified door and security cameras, which thwarted the gunman’s attempt to enter the synagogue, saving lives.

  • We’re training European student leaders. With our support, the European Union of Jewish Students is working to strengthen member unions from 35 countries across Europe, with leadership training so students can address issues of anti-Semitism as they arise.

  • We’re building connections. We’re supporting Israel emissaries who are based in European Jewish communities to help young Jews connect with each other and develop a positive Jewish identity.

With many thanks to our generous donors and network of nonprofits for making all this possible.

Related Nonprofits and Programs

In New York:
JCRC-NY
Westchester Jewish Council

In Europe:
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
Jewish Agency for Israel
(Among many others)