A series of panels at The Jerusalem Post’s virtual conference, “COVID-19 and the Jews: Challenges and Opportunities,” provided viewers with a close-up look at the fight against antisemitism, both among interfaith groups and among supporters of grassroots campaigns.Cohen explained that Combat Antisemitism includes 250 organizations, ranging from large ones like JNF-USA and the American Jewish Committee to very small Jewish groups. “We have enormous organizations working with smaller ones, sharing resources and content,” he said.Levi, an Israeli-American student, discussed her experiences supporting Israel at Stanford, and acting as a resource for others in pro-Israel activism. Ouliguian, who is an Armenian-Christian, explained his support for Israel, saying that thousands of Christian college students have visited Israel, and stand with it and the Jewish community.Finally, Braun, pointed out that antisemitism on college campuses has many different faces and can be different from campus to campus and from country to country. WUJS assists students in fighting antisemitism by giving them the tools and opportunities that they need.The Combat Antisemitism Movement is a non-partisan, global, grassroots movement of individuals. Since its launch in February 2019, some 260,000 people have signed the campaign’s pledge. To sign this pledge, go to the following link:
In the first panel, entitled “Stronger together: Interfaith action against antisemitism,” Lahav Harkov, diplomatic correspondent for the Post, interviewed Dr. Misha Galperin, president of Zandafi Philanthropic Advisors and senior advisor to the Combat Antisemitism Movement; Anila Ali, president of the American Muslim & Multifaith Women’s Empowerment Council; and Pastor Todd Stavrakos of the Gladwyne Presbyterian Church in Pennsylvania. Galperin, who grew up in Russia during the 1960s and 1970s, recalled how the Soviet Jewry movement comprised people of all faiths, religions and belief, and noted that the movement to combat antisemitism is also about “people of good conscience of all faiths.” Galperin added that as long as antisemitism remains a Jewish problem, it will stay a Jewish problem. Concerned citizens of all faiths need to take action.Ali works together with Jewish women’s organizations to fight antisemitism. She recounted that Jewish groups were among the first to come to her defense when allegations were made against Arab-Americans after 9/11, and she has partnered with Combat Antisemitism and the Anti-Defamation League to fight against antisemitism.
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Stavrakos says that there has been a rise in antisemitism in mainline Christian denominations, such as the Presbyterian Church, which has used anti-Zionist rhetoric. He is working closely with clergy to establish stronger educational material to bring people together. “By working closely with the Jewish community, we can build stronger bridges,” he said.The second panel, entitled “Grassroots activism against antisemitism” featured Daniel West Cohen, director of partnerships for Combat Antisemitism; Zohar Levi, a junior at Stanford University; Jonathan Braun, president of the World Union of Jewish Students; and Darion Ouliguian, a recent graduate of UCLA.