I am a Jewish teen. I am proud to be Jewish, and I am grateful to have grown up in a community where anti-Semitism is seen few and far between. I am also grateful to have the support of a global Jewish movement. However, anti-Semitism continues to be prevalent throughout the planet.
In the past few months, our world has turned into a terrifying place. Not only are we facing a global pandemic, but we are also at the height of social injustice worldwide.
Take a look at Hanukkah, from sunset on December 10th to nightfall on December 18th, 2020. Throughout this eight-day time period, a horrifying number of anti-Semitic acts were committed. Here are some egregious examples that occurred across America, courtesy of www.stopantisemitism.org:
Thursday, December 10th:
Friday, December 11th:
Saturday, December 12th:
Sunday, December 13th:
Monday, December 14th:
Tuesday, December 15th:
Wednesday, December 16th:
Thursday, December 17th:
These examples are by no means close to everything that Jews have faced in the past. They simply represent a sliver on an excruciatingly lengthy record of anti-Semitism including shootings, oppression, stereotyping, and so much more. I urge everyone to speak out against this injustice. Judaism is a religion. It is a community. It is a culture. It is what you believe in and what you practice. We join together with such a strong connection because of all the hatred we have faced. Each person who contributes is allowing us to be one step closer to a better world.
So, what can you do to help?
The number one way to prevent anything like this from happening in the future is education. Educate yourself. Educate those around you.
1. Read a book, watch a movie, do some quick google searches. Here are some suggestions:
2. Fight against anti-Semitism daily. If you hear anything prejudiced against Jews, whether it be stereotypical or downright disgusting, say something!!
3. As a Jewish teen, you have the power to talk to non-Jews. Ask them to support the Jewish people in our fight to combat anti-Semitism. So many of my non-Jewish peers quickly posted on their Instagram story supporting other oppressed minorities but were hesitant when it came to Jews. As an active Jewish teen, I am proud of the way that my peers have spoken up in support of other movements in recent times. We have supported others and will continue to fight against hatred and injustice. However, this is not a one-way street. I am not saying that other matters are not pressing issues in our country, because they definitely are. But this country, and frankly, this world, is not perfect. There is more than just one ‘pressing issue’. Anti-Semitism is real and destructive. It should be treated with the same urgency as any other racial discrimination. This doesn’t mean diminishing the struggles of others, but rather, asking others to include us in your fight.
5. Research the Anti-Defamation League and donate if you can. If you are unable to, that’s okay as well. Simply take action in other ways. There is a large list on their site of ways to help.
But don’t stop here. Talk to your peers, Jewish and non-Jewish, alike. Listen to Holocaust survivors. Surround yourself with knowledgeable people. Continue to engage in positive Jewish activities or to support those around you who choose to do so.
Let’s stop anti-Semitism.
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