Baltimore Jewish Council and ADL Discuss the Rise of Antisemitism


This past February on The Upside, the weekly show made in partnership with The Associated and Jmore Magazine which brings on guests to discuss matters important to the Baltimore Jewish community, hosts Beth Goldsmith, chair of the board at The Associated and Scott Rifkin, publisher of Jmore, sat down with Howard Libit and Doron Ezickson to discuss the rise of antisemitism and what we can do, as a community, to respond.

Howard Libit is the executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC), an agency of The Associated that is the designated representative of The Associated and the Baltimore Jewish community at all levels of government. The agency, founded in 1939, is responsible for securing funding and advocating on behalf of Jewish values and concerns. Doron Ezickson is the Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic/Midwest Division at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an organization that encompasses communities at the local, national and global level to stopping antisemitism and defending the Jewish people.

“Antisemitism, at its core, is a conspiracy theory,” explained Ezickson. “It is animated by conspiracy theories and when we see, historically, periods of time where there is social discord or economic uncertainty, or political upheaval … [these] conspiracy theories emerge.”

And indeed, with an increase of 12% in antisemitic incidents over the previous year*, both the Baltimore Jewish Council and Anti-Defamation League suggest a sense of vigilance among the Jewish community. In response to this, both organizations have set up reporting systems where individuals can report antisemitic incidents they have witnessed.

“We can’t fight antisemitism and fight antisemitic incidents if we’re not keeping track and aware of what’s happening… We are fortunate that we are sharing these reports between the ADL and between our Baltimore community,” explained Howard Libit. “People need to be able to communicate, they need to have a way to get the expert resources. And that’s what we’re trying to provide.”

Both the ADL and BJC encourage increased education as long-term solutions to fight antisemitism. Whether it’s increasing Holocaust Education, as the BJC has successfully advocated for with Maryland educators, or involving local authorities in educational programs to recognize and investigate hate crimes as the ADL has done – both organizations have recognized that education is an important pathway towards a solution.

With regards to future generations, The Associated, through its Insight Israel Forum (IIF), is partnering with OpenDor Media to host its Know Before You Go: Israel and the College Campus event series, seek to educate younger generations about one of the facets of antisemitism which is occurring on college campuses… Israel. The program will provide easily accessible information and prepare them for difficult conversations they may face in a college setting or beyond.

“I think we are in the right path,” said Ezickson. “But I think we, as a Jewish community, need to commit to making sure we educate ourselves, that we educate our children… [We need to] better educate 11th and 12th graders about antisemitism and anti-Zionism, preparing them for what they may experience on college campuses.”

If you or anyone you know has witnessed an antisemitic incident, please report it to the BJC and ADL.

For more information about The Associated’s Know Before You Go, in partnership with The Associated’s Insight Israel Forum and OpenDor media, visit this page.

*antisemitism data pulled from the Anti-Defamation League Website


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