50 Influential Jews: Antisemitism Fighters - No. 18

Jew-hatred in the US is at record level. Doug Emhoff and Deborah Lipstadt are on a mission to defy it.

 Deborah Lipstadt and Douglas Emhoff (photo credit: REUTERS)
Deborah Lipstadt and Douglas Emhoff
(photo credit: REUTERS)

The two most recognizable faces this year in the battle to combat hate crimes against American Jews have been Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff and US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt. They have both been tasked with promoting the first-ever United States National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, which the Biden administration unveiled this year.

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It comes at a time when, according to the FBI, 68% of religiously motivated hate crimes in the US are directed against Jews, even though they make up only 2.4% of the American population. 

Deborah Lipstadt

An author of books on Holocaust denial and a former professor of Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, Lipstadt was also placed on this year’s Time’s list of the 100 most influential people. In a show of gallows humor at an ADL event, Lipstadt noted that she “works in a growth industry.” She has urged “good people” in the US and around the globe to “call out” antisemitism. “We have to fight and fight smartly,” she said.

Doug Emhoff

Attorney Doug Emhoff rose to the national stage as the husband of Democratic politician Kamala Harris. The couple made history in 2021, when Kamala became the first female US vice president, as Emhoff became the first male spouse of such an office holder, a role that gave him the title of Second Gentleman, and the first Jew to be part of a presidential or vice-presidential couple.

Earlier this year he told MSNBC that “coming into office, I thought that being a man would be a big deal, but being Jewish I honestly didn’t think it would be that big a deal – but as it turns out, it is.”