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Global Anti-Semitism

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A Conference at Kean University

Conference on Global Anti-Semitism

Home > Conference on Global Anti-Semitism

Sunday, March 13, 2016, Kean University, STEM building

Advance Registration required for complimentary admission and lunch

The Jewish Faculty and Staff Association has a fundamental purpose and a clear-cut strategy. To wit, conciliation and dialogue for understanding the problems and issues that Anti-Semitism presents. One of the goals of the conference is to raise the consciousness of all people regardless of race, ethnicity, religion and nationality.

PROPOSED SCHEDULE (note: subject to change)
9 a.m.  Registration: Coffee, Tea and Pastries
10 a.m.  Opening Keynote: 
Dr. Daniel Goldhagen, The Devil That Never Dies: Global Antisemitism
11 a.m.  First Panel: Contemporary Anti-Semitism

Mark Weitzman, Director of Government Affairs, Simon Wiesenthal Center, New York City

Prof. Deborah Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies, Emory University        

Jonathan Tobin, Senior On-Line Editor Commentary

Daniel Guadalupe, Esq., Norris, McLaughlin, Marcus

Moderator: Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Vice-President, New York Board of Rabbis

12:30 p.m.  Glatt Kosher Lunch
1:30 p.m. 

Second Keynote: The Hon. Ira Forman, U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism

2:30 p.m. 

Second Panel: Anti-Semitism and Israel

Prof. Thane Rosenbaum, Forum on Law, Culture, & Society at NYU Law School

Prof. Mahnaz Afridi, Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center director, Manhattan College

Rev. Robert Moore, Co-Pastor of Christ Congregation and Executive Director Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) Princeton

Prof. Michael Curtis, Rutgers Emeritus Professor of Political Science

Moderator: Rabbi Mark S. Golub, Jewish Broadcasting System, Chavurah Aytz Chayim (Stamford, CT) and Chavurah Deevray Torah (Greenwich, CT), and host of L’Chaim

4 p.m.  Concluding Keynote Speaker

The Hon. Irwin Cotler, former Canadian Minister of Justice, Emeritus Professor of Law, McGill University, Director, Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights.






American Jewish Committee, New Jersey (AJC NJ)
Anti-Defamation League, New Jersey Region
Holocaust Council of Greater MetroWest
Holocaust Resource Center at Kean University
Jewish Faculty and Staff Association of Kean University
Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ
Jewish Studies at Kean University
Kean University Hillel
National Council of Jewish Women of Union County
New York Board of Rabbis
Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights / II Raoul Wallenberg Centre pour les droits de l'homme, Montréal, Canada
Simon Wiesenthal Center

General Remarks: The Context
In the past several years there has been an explosive rise in overt, world-wide anti-Semitism that is not exclusive to Muslim populations, and has in many quarters become not only popular but politically correct. Anti-Semitism may, but need not be, accompanied by an endorsement of violence. Indeed, anti-Semitism may prevail, even as it renounces violence, e.g., reject the Holocaust or the current, indiscriminate assault on and murder of Jews in Europe, Australia and South America. Moreover, like racism, anti-Semitism may not know itself, and, in fact, except in its most extreme form, does not recognize that it is anti-Semitism, even as racists rarely recognize that they are racists. Equally, one may engage in anti-Semitic practices, promote anti-Semitic policies, but believe they are not anti-Semitic. Anti-Semitism is not particular to the poor and disadvantaged, the disenfranchised, disaffected or uneducated, can be prominent in well-favored circles, and may take an insidious, indirect form that denies what it is or what it promotes.

There is an intimate connection between current anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. Criticism of particular Israeli policies and practices are legitimate, but condemnation and related actions that promote the delegitimization, isolation, and threaten the well-being and survival of the Jewish state are anti-Semitic, sometimes consciously so, but often functionally, yet not explicitly or even intentionally so. There are those who are anti-Zionist, and would reject the very idea of a Jewish state, the right of the Jewish people to their own homeland, but claim not to be anti-Semitic. Those who deny the Jewish people a right to their own homeland deny the Jewish people a right to their future as Jews, endorse a perspective that threatens Jewish survival, and are functionally anti-Semitic, whether consciously so or not. Those who deny the Jewish people the right to defend their homeland, functionally deny the Jewish people a right to a homeland.

For a number of reasons of an anti-Semitic nature, continued Jewish presence in Europe appears to be under assault. Europe, like much of the Middle East, may be moving to become Judenfrei. In America, assimilation, intermarriage and an ever growing disassociation between the younger generations and the traditions, customs, religion and history of their forebears spells an ever increasing decline in Jewish identity and an ever increasing loss of Jewish population, one consequence of which must ultimately entail a decline in American Jewish life and in American support for Israel. (Currently, Jews constitute two percent of the American population, but are projected to be one percent by 2050). Conversely, a diminished Israel or delegitimized Jewish state must entail an ever greater and more rapid diminution of Jewish life in America.

Continued Jewish existence as such is intimately connected to the survival and well-being of Israel, of a national homeland for the Jewish people, but the security of that homeland depends on a vigorous Jewish life in America, just as Jewish life in America is connected to a secure Jewish homeland.

Response: Plan of Action
The Identification and Analysis of a looming problem:
1) To produce a conference with widespread sponsorship that explores two central issues: the extent and nature of the new international anti-Semitism; the connection between the new anti-Semitism and hostility to Israel (anti-Semitism expressed as a delegitimization and challenge to the continued existence of a secure Jewish homeland).

2) To generate from the conference a series of on-going events, including further conferences, assemblies, workshops and activities aimed at encouraging Jewish identity and alliance with the Jewish people as a nation tied to their own homeland. 
Such effort would be two-pronged, targeted at Jewish youth through a range of on-going workshops, activities and events whose object is increased engagement with Jewish matters and interests, and, secondly, at forging affiliations of a political, social and religious nature with non-Jewish groups, the purpose of which is support of Jewish causes, survival and well-being. 

The former would aim at youth and address the question: Who is a Jew, and why be Jewish? The latter would constitute a political, inter-faith education and dialogue.

To initiate a series of activities and events whose aim is to produce advocacy, policy recommendations and academic research related to the rise of anti-Semitism and the corollary assault on Zionism and the Jewish homeland. Such efforts would be geared at understanding, deflecting and diluting those forces that are antagonistic to and would undermine Jewish survival.


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