Fighting Antisemitism Education Thread

This is a place to post resources for people interested in learning more about antisemitism and how to recognize and combat it in all forms.

ETA Ground Rules:

For now, we have re-opened the thread so it can be added to. Please be courteous and kind so we can keep it open. Ground rules:

  • This is not a place to argue about the justifications for antisemitism or to repeat or re-share antisemitic things you’ve seen for kicks.
  • Please spoiler things that you’re not sure if they’re antisemitic or want to know more about why they are. Remember that it might be a learning exercise for you, but you’re often discussing threats of violence and/or glorification of past violence and/or actual violence toward people based on belonging to an identity group, so those of us that belong to that identity group might not always want to see it.
  • Jews exist around the world from many different races and are an ethno-religious group. In the U.S., many Jews have assimilated and benefit from white privilege, so often conversations about Jews assume that we are all white, but this is really harmful. For example, Black and Jewish are not mutually exclusive terms as there are many Black Jews. This is not a place to pit different minoritized, targeted groups against each other (particularly remembering that there’s actually quite a lot of overlap)
  • This is also not a place to debate the Isreali/Palestinian conflict. If you’re passionate about this, there ARE great resources to see how to criticize problematic policies without resorting to antisemitism.
  • Even Jews who do benefit from white privilege are still targets of white supremacy, which has antisemitism as one of its core foundations. Please include antisemitism and be mindful of impact on Jews when talking about white supremacy.
  • Please don’t compare things to the Holocaust or other painful Jewish history. See @BenFreeman for more
  • Remember that while many people were targeted in the Holocaust, only Jews and Roma people were targeted for complete annihilation (https://www.instagram.com/p/CKj9DQ9r1Vm/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link for more info on Roma people and the Holocaust)
  • Please don’t use the term Judeo-Christian
  • Antisemitism is a single word (not hyphenated - despite what spell check might be trying to tell you). The word “antisemitism” will be used here specifically to refer to oppression against Jews. For more information about this term, see p. 9 of this pamphlet:

The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere: making resistance to antisemitism part of all of our movements by April Rosenblum
This pamphlet does a really good job of tracing the history of anti-Jewish oppression throughout history, explaining how it shows up on the right and the left politically, and how to do things like criticize Israeli policies you don’t agree with without depending on or uplifting antisemitic tropes. The pamphlet was written to an audience of leftist activists, but I think it’s one of the most comprehensive things and I think it’s valuable regardless of whether or not you identify with that group.

Some questions you might have that this pamphlet addresses:

  • How can Jews be oppressed when they seem to have a lot of money and influence and power?
  • What if I think the Israeli gov’t is oppressive? How can I innoculate my pro-Palestine work against antisemitism?
  • What exactly are Jews anyway?
  • “But Arabs are Semites!”

Some IG Accounts you might find useful:

Here’s a list of books with appropriate ages: https://www.adl.org/education-and-resources/resources-for-educators-parents-families/childrens-literature?tid[189]=189&keys=anti-semitism&page=2. And here’s an article about teaching your kids about it and skills to help prevent them falling into the trap of white supremacist thought: https://www.parents.com/kids/education/how-to-teach-your-children-about-the-holocaust/

This 15 min video gives a decent overview of the history of antisemitism leading up to the Holocaust and since, although it’s nearly entirely focused on the experience of Jews particularly in Germany and Eastern Europe rather, although antisemitism is a worldwide phenomenon and the Holocaust stretched into the Middle East and North Africa as well.

18 Likes

Holocaust Remembrance Day Update

Koolulam commemorates the Holocaust and celebrates life, performing the song “Hai” by Avraham Toledano and Uri Kariv. 600 Holocaust survivors and their families gathered at Beit Avi-Chai in Jerusalem, marking the upcoming Holocaust Memorial Day, April 2018.

Excellent IG post by @TeachandTransform

I used a screenshot/link option because I think it might be the easiest way to show these things but open to feedback about that. The image says "Honor Holocaust Remembrance Day by fighting antisemitism and white supremacy.

If you click through, there’s a good conversation about the ordinary people who allowed the Holocaust to happen and how to talk about this with kids.
Screenshot 2021-01-28 143938

Discussion of Holocaust Imagery, which you will see if you click certain links

Notyourgoodjew posts: https://www.instagram.com/p/CKmNNSHLyIw/

I feel super uncomfortable when people (but particularly those who aren’t Jewish or Roma) share photographs of emaciated victims of the Holocaust. It’s voyeuristic: they didn’t give their consent to being photographed/didn’t know they were being photographed/didn’t want to be photographed. Besides, the most well-known and widely shared photographs were actually taken by Nazis, so we’re seeing the victims through the lens of the perpetrators.

In my opinion, sharing these photographs further dehumanises the victims. There are other ways to talk about the Holocaust, to share the horrors and honour the victims. Just my two cents.

Another very good post by NotYourGoodJew: https://www.instagram.com/p/CKjr7xWL2R9/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link. She says:

Today, 27th January, is Holocaust Memorial Day. I’ve had an astonishing amount of questions from non-Jews, mainly university students, who challenge the ‘point’ of continuing to commemorate the Holocaust.
Among the infinite lessons to be learned, there is definitely one in working to understand the psychology of the perpetrators. As little as they deserve our attention, it’s worth considering that the majority of Nazis were not rampant ideologists. Many were ‘ordinary’ people, with jobs, families and lives.
This is well represented by Karl Höcker’s photograph album which depicts him, the adjutant to the Commandant of Auschwitz Richard Baer, and fellow SS officers enjoying time off work at Solahütte. SS officers who worked at KL Auschwitz were given a few days to relax at this resort for a ‘job well done.’ Around the same time as these photographs were taken, the gas chambers were operating at maximum efficiency, exterminating thousands of Hungarian Jews every single day in the summer and autumn of 1944.
These people do not look like monsters. Terrifyingly, they look rather ordinary. The reality is that we are all capable of monstrous things, but through the study and remembrance of the Holocaust, we can identify the circumstances that drove ordinary people to commit horrific crimes and utilise that knowledge in today’s fight for justice and equality.
Find out more at https://www.ushmm.org/collections/the-museums-collections/

Photo credits: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Anonymous Donor
1d

[/details]

An excerpt:

And anti-Semitism has returned, in part, because the general public’s knowledge about the Holocaust—of what exactly it was, who exactly was murdered in it, how many were killed, and how anti-Semitism spawned it—has diminished. For a time, that knowledge discredited anti-Semitism and those who indulged in it. But the passing of survivors who experienced the Holocaust and could testify to it, the denial and minimization of the Holocaust, and the hijacking of the word itself to advance numerous other causes, great and small, all combined to diminish its memory. The horrifying knowledge of where anti-Semitism can lead has been, in large measure, lost in a miasma of forgetting, ignorance, denial, confusion, appropriation, and obfuscation.

In fact, Holocaust study: Two-thirds of millennials don’t know what Auschwitz is.


5 Likes

Passover Update

Christian Passover Seders
From Hey Alma!: If you’re Christian, you can totally go to a Jewish person’s seder. But you shouldn’t host your own because, well, you’re not Jewish!!

These are appropriative and harmful, particularly in the context of the blood libel that specifically surrounds rumors about Passover Seders. It also creates a dynamic that presents Jews as a historic relic of the past rather than the diverse, dynamic modern cultural group that we are.

5 Likes

Adding to the Passover update:

Passover is one of the most major holidays in the Jewish year, and is I believe the most widely celebrated. If you want to be there for the Jewish people in your life,

  • Pay attention to when Jewish holidays (other than Chanukah) are. Don’t forget Jewish holidays begin at sundown the night before it is on the calendar. Send cards!
  • Don’t schedule important things during the week of Passover. (I am personally missing a ceremony for an award I have been given, a baking class, the first two days of the academic session at work, and more. I’m only taking off 2/8 days of Passover)
  • Most Jewish people don’t eat bread or other chametz during Passover, only matzoh. If you are planning events that Jewish people will be at, make sure there are Passover-friendly meal options. (This needn’t be a hardship, there are amazing options from around the world!)

Passover celebrates the exodus from slavery in Egypt while simultaneously holding the truth that many people were hurt by the plagues that helped the Hebrews win their freedom from Pharaoh. Some excerpts from PJ Library:

The Haggadah, the traditional guidebook to this special night, includes a reminder that on the seder night, everyone should be welcome at our table. The story of freedom is made for sharing.

At dinner tables around the world, families sit together to tell the story of how the Jewish people went free from slavery in Egypt. The seder is a meal at which people sing, ask questions, and tell stories. Some of the stories are from the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, that tell about the beginnings of the Jewish people. At the seder, we travel back in time to ancient Egypt. Our guide for the journey is this Haggadah (hah-gah-DAH), which means “telling” in Hebrew. Telling the Passover story helps us feel that we ourselves are going free from slavery tonight.

“In every generation we should see ourselves as if we personally came out of Egypt.”

Many different organizations produce Haggadot (plural of Haggadah) which might focus on particular injustices of today, in recognition that until we (everyone in the world) are all free (from slavery, from fear, from subsistence, from injustice) none of us can be truly free.

Photos of Pesach from around the world
A Historical review of Passover

For more ways to show up for your Jewish neighbors, friends, and family:

9 Likes