Chairman of The Jewish Agency Isaac Herzog warned during a speech at a conference on Thursday that the next deadly antisemitic attack may be around the corner.
"If I were to stand here a year and a half ago and tell you that in the United States, it would become common for Jews to attend Shabbat services with armed guards and police vehicles guarding the entrance, you’d probably think I was distorting the truth," said Herzog. "Most unfortunately, we all know this is the sad reality with which we are faced. The next deadly attack may very well be around the corner and the palpable fear of Jews all over the world is very real."
During his speech, Herzog presented The Jewish Agency's three-tier approach to combat antisemitism.
The first tier is increasing physical security for Jewish communities worldwide as part of the Security Assistance Fund.
The next tier is advocacy for legislation concerning antisemitism, including lobbying countries around the world to recognize the official definition of antisemitism. The last tier is focused on educational initiatives.
"On the one hand, we must work with governments to ensure that all students learn about Jewish history, antisemitism and the Holocaust, but at the same time we must use cutting-edge social media tools, and creative grassroots campaigns, in order to educate outside of formal frameworks," said Herzog.
The three tier program is part of a ten year plan approved by The Jewish Agency earlier this month.
Along with its focus on antisemitism, the Jewish Agency’s 10-year plan will also seek to address and repair Israel’s relations with the Diaspora, particularly Jewish communities in North America; bolster Diaspora involvement in shaping the face of Israeli society; and continuing with its traditional role of encouraging aliyah.
On the educational level, the Jewish Agency will work with governments and transnational organizations such as the EU and the UN, to introduce educational programs “to tell story of Jewish people and of antisemitism” Herzog told the Jerusalem Post in October.
Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.