Understanding Antisemitism: Finding Our Voice in Combating Antisemitism

March 5, 2024 Wellesley Free
(Photo: SDI Productions/iStock)
(Photo: SDI Productions/iStock)

Antisemitism is increasing globally and in the U.S., affecting people of all ages and political affiliations. Jewish teens, college students and young adults face this issue in myriad ways in their daily lives.

This workshop series for professionals working with teens, campus and young adults with Dr. Keren Fraiman and Dr. Dean Bell of the Spertus Institute aims to address these issues with case studies, small group discussions and presentations to help educators understand and engage with the complexities of antisemitism and educate in a Jewish context.

Session 4: Finding Our Voice in Combating Antisemitism

Social media has provided a fertile (effective, accessible and accelerable) forum for sharing of antisemitism and other hatred. How has antisemitism been expressed on social media, how is the message of antisemitism amplified through technology and in what ways can we use technology to combat antisemitism online? The session also considers the social-emotional and mental health impact of antisemitism and perceived antisemitism and the possible communications strategies for responding—or not responding—to antisemitism when it is expressed. In this concluding session, we offer suggestions for creating education and communications plans to make a real difference in the fight against antisemitism. In addition, this session seeks to tie together the prior sessions exploring the range of effective strategies to combat antisemitism. How do we understand the threat of antisemitism in different contexts? How do we come together and mobilize as a community? How do we communicate the impact of antisemitism on our lives?

Sought learning outcomes:

  • How does antisemitism appear online and in social media?
  • What is the impact of antisemitism on the social-emotional and mental health of Jews, especially teens?
  • How can we understand the threat of antisemitism?
  • What are possible communications strategies for responding to antisemitism?
  • What are other strategies that we can engage to respond to and mitigate antisemitism?

Dr. Keren E. Fraiman is Spertus Institute’s Dean and Chief Academic Officer. She also holds a faculty appointment as Professor of Israel Studies. She previously served as Director of Research and Evaluation at The iCenter for Israel Education, where she continues to serve on the faculty of the iFellows Masters Concentration in Israel Education program. In January 2020, Dr. Fraiman was selected for the prestigious Wexner Field Fellowship, presented by the Wexner Foundation in partnership with the Jim Joseph Foundation. A former Schusterman Israel Scholar, Dr. Fraiman has worked at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis, served as an officer in the IDF, and led trips to Israel as a Facilitator both for Encounter and Birthright Israel. Her work has been supported by the US Institute of Peace, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism, and the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism. Fraiman is co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Judaism in the 21st Century and author of the article “Barriers to Entry: Exploring Educator Reticence for Engaging with the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.”

Dr. Dean P. Bell is Spertus Institute’s ninth President and CEO. He also holds a faculty appointment as Professor of History. Dr. Bell has taught at DePaul University, Northwestern University, Hebrew Theological College, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of California, Berkeley. He has served as President, Vice- President, and Secretary-Treasurer of the Midwest Jewish Studies Association and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Jewish Studies. Dr. Bell is a widely published author in the areas of Medieval and Early Modern Jewish history. His current research focuses on interreligious dialogue and leadership and environmental history. Bell is author or editor of 13 books and monographs and dozens of articles, including co-author of Interreligious Resilience: Interreligious Leadership for a Pluralistic World; and co-editor of Jews, Judaism, and the Reformation in Sixteenth-Century Germany. He is Associate Editor of Antisemitism: A Historical Encyclopedia of Prejudice and Persecution.

While it is not required to attend all sessions, sessions build on each other and we recommend full participation. Contact Leah for more information.

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Fact Sheet
Tuesday, March 5, 2024, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Temple Beth Elohim
10 Bethel Rd
Wellesley, MA 02481

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