Conference of Presidents Applaud Adoption of IHRA Antisemitism Definition by 25 of 50 US States

New York, NY, . . . Dianne Lob, Chair, William Daroff, CEO, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chair, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, issued the following statement:

"Today, we commemorate Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Memorial Day. We also applaud Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy’s proclamation today adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, marking the 25th state to adopt the definition.

"The fact that 25 states and the District of Columbia, and other major cities, over 30 countries, hundreds of universities, sports teams, and governmental bodies have adopted the IHRA Working Definition as a tool identifying antisemitism reflects the broad support that exists for the most authoritative and internationally accepted definition of antisemitism, as well as the widespread view that it is critically important to recognize antisemitism in order to combat it successfully.

"As we commemorate Yom Hazikaron laShoah v’ leGevurah, (יום הזכרון לשואה ולגבורה), literally, The Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust and Heroism, which marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, almost eight decades have passed since the concentration camps were liberated, but the scourge of antisemitism remains with us. Yom Hashoah is therefore not just about the horrors of that genocide. It is also a testament to our commitment to the pledge ‘Never Again.’ In that way, Yom Hashoah contains within it a balance – we memorialize the history of the past evil in order to secure a better future. Our work in fighting antisemitism continues and we are grateful that the majority of states, representing the entire political spectrum, adopted the IHRA definition as an important standard in the battle against antisemitism and Jew hatred.

"We thank all of our member organizations and our partners in promoting the adoption of the IHRA definition, including Jewish Federations of North America, American Jewish Committee, Christians United for Israel, Combating Antisemitism Movement, Anti-Defamation League, Brandeis Center, and Hadassah for their work in moving this forward."

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Additional statements from coalition members:

"With antisemitic incidents and discrimination against Jews at the highest levels in a generation, it is critical to define ways that hatred has evolved over time. Jewish Federations applaud Alaska's decision to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism--which has now been accepted by more than half of all US states--and are proud of the work Federations and Jewish Community Relations Councils (JCRCs) have done to educate national and state leaders about modern-day manifestations of antisemitism," said Adam Teitelbaum, Executive Director of the Israel Action Network.

"On Yom HaShoah, we remember the victims of the Holocaust and honor their memory by recommitting ourselves to the promise of Never Again. One cannot defeat that which they are unwilling to define and the IHRA definition is a vital tool in the effort to combat the rising tide of antisemitism sweeping across the country.  It is therefore fitting that on this day we have crossed the threshold wherein a majority of American leaders - across the country and the political spectrum - have now acknowledged the IHRA definition," said CUFI Action Fund Chairwoman Sandra Parker.

"IHRA is the gold standard in terms of defining antisemitism. Its adoption by countries, international organizations, companies, states, and municipalities has helped and will continue to aid in the effort to combat Jew hate. In order to effectively combat the rising tide of antisemitism we need to be able to define it. Efforts to use the IHRA definition in the states in an essential step to push back against hate," said Jacob Millner, AJC Associate Director of Regional Offices. 

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The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 50 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern

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