ADL Urges States to Adopt “State Strategies to Counter Antisemitism” Using National Strategy as a Guide

As the U.S. Jewish community is experiencing antisemitism at levels not seen in generations, we deeply value the recently announced National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, and believe this historic, comprehensive strategy should serve as a blueprint for state-specific plans to fight antisemitism. As we did with the Administration, ADL is offering our support and partnership to governors across the country in drafting and implementing a strategic plan that comprehensively addresses hate and antisemitism on campus, online, and from extremists across the political spectrum.

Since 1913, the mission of ADL has been to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Today, ADL is a global leader in fighting antisemitism, exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and monitoring and fighting the spread of hate in our communities and online.

Jewish communities across the U.S. are experiencing antisemitism at levels not seen in generations. The concerns are reflected both in data that shows significant and disturbing increases in antisemitism in several key metrics ADL has tracked for decades, as well as an increase in real-world incidents of antisemitic violence and harassment targeting synagogues, schools and communities. In January, ADL released topline survey findings showing the highest percentage of respondents harboring extensive antisemitic prejudice in decades. ADL data also reveals that antisemitic incidents have surged to historic levels in 2022, with a total of 3,697 incidents reported across the United States, an increase of 36 percent compared to 2021.

In light of this continuous threat against the Jewish community, ADL welcomed the Administration’s first-ever National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism. The strategy includes more than 200 concrete provisions to address antisemitism by action from all levels of government and the broader society. Each piece of the Strategy contains policy recommendations for state and/or municipal action.  For these efforts to be successful, ADL believes that a focused examination of what a state is already doing and what more it could be doing to combat antisemitism would help direct efforts and maximize impact. 

Therefore, we are urging states to create their own state-specific strategic plan that recognizes the problem of antisemitism, condemns antisemitism, outlines existing policies and procedures that address antisemitism in the state and commits to new action steps to combat antisemitism.

We recommend that State Strategies to Counter Antisemitism follow the four pillar structure outlined in the White House Strategy and include the following elements:

Increase Awareness and Understanding of Antisemitism, including its Threat to America

  • Identify and acknowledge the growing problem of antisemitism, as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism;
  • Identify and create opportunities for points of connection between the administration and the Jewish community, such as Governmental Commissions Against Hate and Discrimination or a Jewish or interfaith liaison office;
  • Assess existing state programs related to education about hate, including antisemitism and Holocaust Education;

Improve Safety and Security for Jewish Communities

  • Assess existing training programs for law enforcement related to investigation and prosecution of hate crimes, reporting hate crimes data, and interacting with and supporting communities impacted by hate crimes and bias incidents;
  • Enact and fully fund state Nonprofit Security Grant Programs;

Reverse the Normalization of Antisemitism and Counter Antisemitic Discrimination

  • Urge all elected and appointed officials to publicly recognize the problem of antisemitism, speak out against antisemitism, and use Holocaust Remembrance Day and Jewish American Heritage Month as educational opportunities;
  • Assess existing state programs related to education on digital and media literacy, identifying gaps, studying efficacy, and planning for enhanced educational offerings;
  • Work with the Human Relations Commission to ensure educational resources are available to employers and employees regarding all forms of discrimination and hate and how to redress them;

Build Cross-Community Solidarity and Support Cross-Community Collective Action to Counter Hate

  • Support and encourage local cross-community and interfaith solidarity-building projects.