Antisemitism

Learning about Antisemitism

Just as CBST stands up for other groups being targeted for their race, national origin, or religion, we care deeply about standing up to anti-Jewish hatred, no matter where it comes from. And to do that well, we need to better understand what antisemitism is and what it isn’t.

We will be hosting a day of learning – a Yom Iyyun – on antisemitism in early 2022. Until then, we invite you to view programs and speakers that CBST has hosted over the past few years, and to deepen your understanding of antisemitism by learning from our recommended resources.

As our Senior Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum said after an antisemitic attack on the Chabad house in San Diego in 2019:

“Our best response to antisemitism is to live more proudly as Jews, our best response to fear of being attacked in synagogues is to go MORE OFTEN to synagogue, our most powerful response to ugly hate is to be more and more full of love. As Abraham Joshua Heschel said in 1944 — to the degree of evil that the Fascists are, we must be THAT DEGREE GOOD. That must be our standard. And as Leonard Bernstein said in the days after Kennedy was assassinated, ‘But this sorrow and rage will not inflame us to seek retribution; rather they will inflame our art. Our music will never again be quite the same. This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.’”

Have you experienced anti-Jewish hate in New York City?

If you’ve been attacked or harassed for being Jewish, we want to support you. Let us know by writing to rabbi@cbst.org, and report the incident to our partners at the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

We are proud that Rabbi Kleinbaum serves as one of the NYC Human Rights Commissioners addressing discrimination in our city. Learn more about the ‘Jewish New Yorkers Belong Here’ campaign.

Past CBST programs on antisemitism

Our Yom Iyyun (day of learning) on Fascism and Totalitarianism, moderated by CBST member Josh Kruchten, with Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Professor of History, Italian Studies at NYU, as well as TV Commentator Jack Jacobs, Professor of Political Science at John Jay College; Visiting Scholar at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. (April 2017) - https://www.facebook.com/BeitSimchatTorah/videos/1584094701630975

Listen to Eric K. Ward, Executive Director of the Western States Center and a leading expert in the connections between anti-Semitism and white nationalism, explore how the twin phenomena of antisemitism and white nationalism are shaping America today, and why they are so dangerous to achieving an inclusive democracy. (Guest speaker at Shabbat services, May 2018) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvOQQMSatN8

Dr. Magda Teter, Professor of History and the Shvidler Chair of Judaic Studies at Fordham University, speaks about efforts and failures to reckon with antisemitism and racism still permeating society in Europe (including Poland) and the US (especially the south). (Lunch & Learn, June 2021) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVJjPj3V07Y&t=2649s

Learn from Rabbi Kleinbaum in these videos from the January 2020 classes on antisemitism she taught at CBST: [videos coming soon]

Additional antisemitism resources