Antisemitism Education Resources
Lectures, Public Presentations, and Podcast Recordings
Antisemitism on Social Media: Challenges for Academics and Policy-makers
At a virtual World Jewish Congress event titled “Antisemitism on Social Media: Challenges for Academics and Policy-makers,” academics, representatives from social media companies, the United Nations, UNESCO and the European Commission came together to explore the complex phenomenon.
The event coincided with the recently published book Antisemitism on Social Media (Routledge, 2022), edited by Monika Hübscher, a doctoral candidate at the University of Haifa, Israel, and research associate at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, and Sabine von Mering, professor of German and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and director of the Center for German and European Studies, at Brandeis University. Both of them spoke at the online forum, which addressed possible solutions to this threat.
In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust
Jeffrey Veidlinger (University of Michigan) at UC Berkeley, April 25, 2022. This program was presented with the generous support of the Joseph and Eda Pell Endowed Fund for Jewish Studies.
Between 1918 and 1921, over a hundred thousand Jews were murdered in Ukraine and Poland by peasants, townsmen, and soldiers who blamed the Jews for the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. In hundreds of separate incidents, ordinary people robbed their Jewish neighbors with impunity, burned down their houses, ripped apart their Torah scrolls, sexually assaulted them, and killed them. Largely forgotten today, these pogroms – ethnic riots – dominated headlines and international affairs in their time. Aid workers warned that six million Jews were in danger of complete extermination. Twenty years later, these dire predictions would come true.
Drawing upon long-neglected archival materials, including thousands of newly discovered witness testimonies, trial records, and official orders, acclaimed historian Jeffrey Veidlinger shows for the first time how this wave of genocidal violence created the conditions for the Holocaust. (This event was not recorded. To view the presentation, please visit Professor Veidlinger’s website by clicking here.)
The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Pittsburgh Neighborhood
On October 27, 2018, a gunman killed eleven Jews who were worshipping at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill–the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in American history. Many neighborhoods would be understandably subsumed by despair and recrimination after such an event, but not this one.
In his latest book, Mark Oppenheimer offers a piercing portrait of the struggles and triumphs of one of America’s renowned Jewish neighborhoods in the wake of unspeakable tragedy. Shifting the focus away from the criminal and his crime, Mark instead presents the historic, spirited community at the center of this heartbreak. He speaks with residents and nonresidents, Jews and gentiles, survivors and witnesses, teenagers and seniors, activists and historians. Together, these stories provide a kaleidoscopic and nuanced account of collective grief, love, support, and revival.
Antisemitism in America and Who Gets to Say?
An online event featuring Lila Corwin Berman, Joshua Shanes, and Ethan Katz (UC Berkeley).
The Rise of Antisemitism from the Left and the Right
A live-streamed event highlighting the increasing presence of Antisemitism in the U.S. and its unexpected sources. Featuring Florida Congressman Ted Deutch, Newsweek journalist Batya Ungar-Sargon, Rhodes College Professor Jonathan Judaken, and anti-racist activist Eric Ward. Moderated by Professor Ethan Katz (UC Berkeley).
The Jonathan Netanyahu Symposium on Antisemitism: “Antisemitism and the Campus Climate"
Starting at the 52:55, Professor Ethan Katz (UC Berkeley) traces the origins and development of the Antisemitism Education Initiative, and the making of the acclaimed anti-bias training film “Antisemitism in Our Midst,” and offers lessons for similar projects on other campuses.
The Impact of the Gaza War on Antisemitism and Anti-Arab Racism in the U.S.
A conversation between Ethan Katz (UC Berkeley) and Jim Zogby (Founder and President of the Arab American Institute). Presented by the Annenberg Center, University of Southern California, July 12, 2021.
A discussion about the impact of Israeli-Palestinian violence on antisemitism and anti-Arab racism. When and how does anger at Israeli actions against Palestinians, such as the evictions in Sheikh Jarrah and the shelling of Gaza’s civilians, morph into antisemitism in the U.S.? When and how does anger at Palestinian actions against Israel, such as Hamas missiles striking Israeli civilians, morph into anti-Arab racism in the U.S.? [Image credit: Smoke rises after Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City, the Gaza Strip, Palestine, May 12, 2021. Shutterstock/Nick Raille]
Bad News: How Woke Media Undermines Democracy
A Conversation Between Batya Ungar-Sargon and Ethan Katz (UC Berkeley). Sponsored by The Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies.
Batya Ungar-Sargon will discuss her new book, Bad News: How Woke Media is Undermining American Democracy, which critiques the role of American journalists in shaping race, class, religion, and culture.
Race and Responsibility: A Conversation on Black-Jewish Relations and the Fight for Equal Justice
How are the historical experiences of the Black and Jewish communities at once distinct and interconnected? Should we see efforts to combat racism and antisemitism as separate struggles? What are African Americans’ and Jews’ responsibilities to one another in America’s current racial reckoning? In this conversation, Eric K. Ward, a leading expert on the relationship between racism, antisemitism, and authoritarian movements; and Michael Rothberg, an eminent scholar of historical exclusion and its legacies, will tackle these questions and other pressing matters in contemporary Black-Jewish relations. The discussion will be moderated by Professor Tina Sacks of the School of Social Welfare.
Cyber-Hate: Defining and Combating Antisemitism and Hate Online
Cosponsored by the Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law, Thought, and Identity and the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology
This two-part virtual symposium explores the phenomenon of cyber-hate. What are the key issues and manifestations? What are the appropriate responses to online hate? What are the frameworks available — legal, social, technological — and possible constraints to responding? How do we evaluate the success of various solutions?
Hitler’s Laboratory: How Munich Became the Capital of Antisemitism After World War I
The Free State of Bavaria was established in November 1918 by the Jewish socialist, Kurt Eisner. After his assassination in February 1919, Bavaria went through intense political infighting, in the midst of which, Jewish politicians were very prominent. Amid the turmoil, the conservative government of Bavaria identified Jews with left-wing radicalism and Munich became a hotbed of right-wing extremism as well as the center of the emerging Nazi movement under Adolf Hitler. The Jews in Hitler’s Munich of the early 1920s were the first victims on his long and twisted road to power.
Jews and Race: Identity, Community, and History
Yavilah McCoy is the CEO of the Diversity consulting group DIMENSIONS Inc. Through Dimensions, Yavilah services an international portfolio of clients in the areas of Education, Philanthropy, and Social Justice. As an anti-racism activist with an international platform, Yavilah provides training and consulting to numerous social justice projects that span multiple identities and communities. Yavilah serves on the steering committee of the national Women’s March and has been a core part of many large-scale national movement teams, bringing a uniquely intersectional perspective to the ongoing work of racial justice and collective liberation. Yavilah is a pioneer of the Jewish diversity and equity movement and is an advocate and mentor for the empowerment of a transglobal community of Jews of Color. Yavilah was an inaugural recipient of the Spielberg Foundation’s Joshua Venture Fellowship and directed the launch of the “Ruderman Synagogue Inclusion Project” for Combined Jewish Philanthropies and the Ruderman Family Foundation. Yavilah also directed the Bronfman Philanthropy’s Curriculum Initiative in Boston, where she provided educational consultancy to 600 prep schools across the nation. Yavilah was voted one of “16 Faith Leaders to Watch” by the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC, is a certified coach for the Auburn Theological Seminary’s Pastoral Coach Training Program and an inaugural fellow of the Sojourner Truth Leadership Circle. Yavilah is a renowned national speaker, educator, and spiritual practitioner and in celebration of the musical traditions passed down to her from three generations of her African-American Jewish family, is also the writer, producer and performer of the Jewish Gospel theatrical production “The Colors of Water.”
This event is part of a series on Jews and Race during the 2020-2021 academic year, a collaboration of the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, the Berkeley Center for Jewish Studies, the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, and the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies.
Online Extremism in a Time of Global Pandemic
In this podcast episode, Ahmad Sultan and Vlad Khaykin join us to discuss their work with the Anti-Defamation League combatting hate speech online. They share how their work has evolved during this global health crisis, engaging in their work from quarantine and addressing the increasing prevalence of incidents such as ‘Zoom Bombing’ as we transitioned to a ‘virtual world’ during the COVID19 pandemic. This episode is part of a 14-part series on Israel and Jewish Identity in the age of COVID. The series includes interviews with experts on topics related to Israel and the novel coronavirus through different lenses – political developments, economic impacts, technology and surveillance, trauma and resilience – as well as lessons from Jewish tradition and the virus’ impact on Jewish communal life.
Antisemitism Here and Now (RTS 2019)
Deborah Lipstadt and Yehuda Kurtzer On February 13, 2020, renowned scholar Deborah Lipstadt spoke before several hundred students, staff, and faculty about her recent book Antisemitism Here and Now and met separately with a number of student organizations and student leaders on our campus. While it was not possible to record these events, because of how important they remain for our ongoing work here, we have linked this illuminating conversation that Lipstadt had in summer 2019 about her book and contemporary challenges around antisemitism and other hatreds, with Yehuda Kurtzer of the Hartman Institute.
Cold Case in Constantine: Anti-Jewish Violence and the Colonial Situation in French Algeria
Joshua Cole (University of Michigan) in coversation with Steve Zipperstein (Stanford University) Cole’s prize-winning book solves the mystery of the Constantine riots of August 1934, an episode of violence between Muslims and Jews in French Algeria that resulted in the deaths of 25 Jews and 3 Muslims. The murders in Constantine were the most lethal episode of anti-Jewish violence in peacetime in modern French history. Cole argues that we have long misunderstood the violence in Constantine. Contrary to widespread perceptions, it was neither the culmination of ever-growing Muslim-Jewish enmity, nor the rupture that in time led to the end for the two groups’ cohabitation in Algeria. Rather, the murders were the product of specific tensions that arose from both inclusionary reforms on the part of the colonial administration, and right-wing, antisemitic provocateurs who sought to inflame tensions between Muslims and Jews.
In the Name of the Cross: Christianity and Anti-Semitic Propaganda in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany
David Kertzer (Brown University) Heated debate surrounds the question of the role Christianity and Christian churches played in the Nazi and Italian Fascist demonization of the Jews. This talk brings to light similarities and differences in the Nazi and Italian Fascist uses of Christianity in their efforts to turn their populations against the Jews through examination of two of their most influential popular anti-Semitic propaganda vehicles: La difesa della razza in Italy and Der Stürmer in Germany. Both would mix pseudo-scientific racial theories with arguments based on Christian religious authority, and both would present themselves as defenders of Christianity against the Jewish threat. Yet there were also differences, linked to the different relations each regime had with the Christian churches.
Hate: The Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism in France and What It Means for Us
Marc Weitzmann (Author) What is the connection between a rise in the number of random attacks against Jews on the streets of France and strategically planned terrorist acts targeting the French population at large? Before the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, the Bataclan night club, and others made international headlines, Weitzmann had noticed a surge of seemingly random acts of violence against the Jews of France. In his disturbing and eye-opening new book, Hate: The Rising Tide of Antisemitism in France (and What it Means for Us), Weitzmann proposes that both the small-scale and large-scale acts of violence have their roots in not one, but two very specific forms of populism: an extreme and violent ethos of hate spread among the Muslim post-colonial suburban developments on the one hand, and the deeply-rooted French ultra-conservatism of the far right. Weitzmann’s shrewd on-the-ground reporting is woven throughout with the history surrounding the legacies of the French Revolution, the Holocaust, and Gaulist “Arab-French policy.” Hate is a chilling and important account that shows how the rebirth of French Anti-Semitism relates to the new global terror wave, revealing France to be a veritable localized laboratory for a global phenomenon. The book has provoked widespread debate and acclaim on both sides in both France and the U.S.
Unlikely Refuge: Survivors, Aid Organizations and Local Communities in WWII Uzbekistan and Iran
Professor Mikhal Dekel (Director of CCNY’s Rifkind Center for Humanities and the Arts) Beginning in September 1941 and throughout the war, Central Asia and Iran became places of refuge to hundreds of thousand of Jewish and Catholic Polish citizens. Mikhal Dekel, whose father was a child refugee in Tehran, will recount the research and writing process of this epic yet relatively unknown Holocaust story, told in her new book Tehran Children: A Holocaust Refugee Odyssey. She will discuss the circumstances that brought her father and hundreds of thousands of others from Poland to the Soviet interior, Central Asia, Iran, India and Palestine and talk about the refugees’ experiences in each locale and the mutual impact of refugees and host countries on each other. Sponsored by Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies
Protectors of Pluralism: the Rescue of Jews in the Low Countries during the Holocaust
Robert Braun (UC Berkeley) This book argues that local religious minorities are more likely to save persecuted groups from purification campaigns. Robert Braun utilizes a geo-referenced dataset of Jewish evasion in the Netherlands and Belgium during the Holocaust to assess the minority hypothesis. Spatial statistics and archival work reveal that Protestants were more likely to rescue Jews in Catholic regions of the Low Countries, while Catholics facilitated evasion in Protestant areas. Post-war testimonies and secondary literature demonstrate the importance of minority groups for rescue in other countries during the Holocaust as well as other episodes of mass violence, underlining how the local position of church communities produces networks of assistance, rather than something inherent to any religion itself. This book makes an important contribution to the literature on political violence, social movements, altruism and religion, applying a range of social science methodologies and theories that shed new light on the Holocaust.
Hatred Old and New: The Roots and Resurgence of Antisemitism
A Panel Discussion: John Efron, Ethan Katz, Ronit Stahl, & Robert Braun (UC Berkeley) Racism against Jews has re-emerged today as a major problem on the Left and the Right — in European and American politics, and frequently on college campuses. What accounts for this resurgence? What has been the historical evolution of antisemitism that helps explain the current moment? What forms is antisemitism taking today? How much is it connected to or distinct from the rise of other hateful ideologies?
News Articles and Interviews on Antisemitism by Our Faculty
What Whoopi Goldberg's Holocaust remarks can teach us
An interview with Professor Ethan Katz, co-director of the Berkeley Antisemitism Education Initiative, on PBS NewsHour, February 2, 2022. The history of the Holocaust has been part of school curriculums for decades, but how much Americans really know about it has changed. That was brought to light this week when comedian and actress Whoopi Goldberg made race remarks that were widely condemned and led to her suspension from “The View.” Click HERE to watch the segment.
Antisemitism: Here and Now
CJS Director John Efron Interviews Deborah Lipstadt about her New Book, Antisemitism: Here and Now Even before the horrific murder of eleven worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue, violence against Jews in this country was rising sharply; 2017 saw a nearly 60 percent spike in incidents over the year before, the largest single-year increase on record according to the Anti-Defamation League. Where is all this hatred coming from? Is there any significant difference between left-wing and right-wing anti-Semitism? What role has the anti-Zionist movement played? Deborah Lipstadt, the award-winning author of The Eichmann Trial and Denial: Holocaust History on Trial, joins John Efron, Koret Professor of Jewish History at U.C. Berkeley for an in-depth conversation on the hate that will not die and what can be done about it. Click HERE to watch the interview.
Far more unites Black and Jewish Americans than divides them
Opinion by Ethan B. Katz and Deborah Lipstadt
(CNN) In recent weeks, we have witnessed several anti-Semitic statements and postings by prominent black athletes and entertainers like DeSean Jackson, Stephen Jackson, Nick Cannon and Ice Cube. (All but Ice Cube have since apologized.) These have unfolded in the shadow of an outpouring of diverse support for the Black Lives Matter movement, which has undertaken arguably the most significant struggle for racial justice of the past half century.
Why Calling Anti-Semites ‘White Nationalists’ Actually Gives Them Cover
Opinion by John Efron
The mass murder of Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh came as a shock. However, for anyone paying attention, it did not come as a surprise. And therein lies the problem. All too few have been paying attention to anti-Semitism. Continue reading…
UC Berkeley Social Sciences Conversations: The State of Black-Jewish Relations in America
Interview with Professor Ethan Katz, UC Berkeley In this interview, UC Berkeley Professor Ethan Katz speaks to Assistant Dean Christian Gordon about the state of Black-Jewish relations in America and his recently published CNN article on this topic, co-authored with Deborah Lipstadt. Katz also discusses fascinating parallels between Jews and Blacks in America, and the subject of his first book- Jews and Muslims in France. Click HERE to watch the interview
“Antisemitic hate speech on social media – algorithms are partly to blame.” Article in The Conversation, July 26, 2022.