Press Release

Union for Reform Judaism and ADL Launch Critical Partnership to Combat Antisemitism and Hate

New York, NY, July 20, 2021 ... Amid an alarming rise in antisemitic rhetoric and violence, the Union for Reform Judaism, which represents the largest and most diverse Jewish movement in North America, and ADL (Anti-Defamation League), the world’s leading anti-hate organization, will join together in a multifaceted partnership to provide Reform congregations with the tools needed to address antisemitism in their communities.

The newly launched partnership will link the expertise of ADL and the resources of the URJ to better equip the Jewish community to respond to and prevent antisemitic attacks, beginning with a new online incident reporting form tailored specifically to Reform congregations and their members. The new partnership also includes collaboration around advocacy and educating youth about antisemitism.

“The scourge of antisemitism is not isolated to any one source or in any one community,” said Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism. “The Reform Movement and ADL have long been partners in addressing and working against antisemitism, racism and other acts of injustice. This critical collaboration will further integrate that work. It could not come at a more pressing moment with rising vandalism and violent threats on congregations, assaults on Jewish individuals, and an increase in antisemitic rhetoric and conspiracy theories from all sides. Our community knows all too well that when hatred against one group is allowed to fester, bigotry imperils us all.”

“Antisemitic incidents are on the rise in the U.S., but we know that without complete and accurate data we do not have a full picture of the problem,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director. “Through this partnership we hope to encourage more reporting to help raise awareness of the threats facing the Jewish community, and to leverage our combined resources to convince policymakers of the need to devote more resources to combating extremism while ensuring the safety and security of our communities.”

Greenblatt and Rabbi Jacobs will officially launch the partnership during a webinar at 8:00 p.m. EDT on July 27 - Responding with Intention: Preparing our communities to respond to acts of antisemitism and hate. The public webinar will also feature remarks from Yolanda Savage-Narva, Director for Racial Equity, Diversity, Inclusion for the URJ, and Carly Pildis, Associate Director of Community Engagement for ADL. It will be moderated by Barbara Weinstein, Director of the Commission on Social Action and Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.

Additionally, In the coming weeks and months, more resources will become available including:

  • A digital incident reporting mechanism that will allow those impacted by antisemitic incidents or acts of hate to document their experiences. The incident reports will be evaluated by ADL and URJ, and both organizations will follow up when appropriate to provide assistance. The reports will also be evaluated for inclusion in ADL’s Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, an annual tally of acts of hatred against Jews.
  • A substantial online and print resource that provides both congregations and individuals with the tools to effectively respond to acts of antisemitism and hate in their communities.
  • A new level of partnership between ADL and the URJ youth team, providing teens with education on standing up to antisemitism and hate in their communities and online.
  • A more structured cooperation and coordination effort led by the government affairs teams around shared policy advocacy priorities, including fighting antisemitism and building a more just and inclusive society.

During the conflict between Israel and Hamas in May 2021, ADL tracked a doubling of antisemitic incidents compared to the same period in 2020. ADL logged 251 incidents from May 11 through the end of the month, an increase of 115 percent.  A total of 305 incidents were tallied across the U.S. for the entire month of May 2021.