In light of the October 7 massacre in Israel and the rise of anti-Semitism around the world, the Lookstein Center for Jewish Education at Bar-Ilan University has published a new issue of its journal, Jewish Educational Leadership. Entitled “Jewish Education Amid Rising Antisemitism,” the article features new content, including videos from prominent thinkers and practitioners in the field of antisemitism and Jewish education, such as Yossi Klein Halevi, Marc Baker, and Bruce Powell.
“The rise of hatred against Jews in the United States and abroad, from university campuses to workplaces to the streets of New York, Paris, London, Sydney and many other places, leaves us speechless,” writes Rabbi Zvi Grumet, editor-in-chief of the publication. “How did we get to the point where the presidents of Harvard, Penn, and MIT, speaking before a congressional committee, could not say unequivocally that referring to the genocide of the Jews is considered harassment and a violation of campus rules?”
In a video discussing the impact of Oct. 7 on Jewish communities around the world, Marc Baker, president and CEO of Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, says “the whole world has changed.”
“I feel like we're living in a historic moment for the Jewish people. It's one of the biggest divisions in the Jewish world today. Those who have never really experienced Jewish vulnerability and those who know and feel it deep down. And I think that division is kind of exploded right now. We know from statistics that anti-Semitism has been on the rise for many years,” he said. – He said.
Part of the problem, according to Bruce Powell, dean of the School of Jewish Education and Leadership at American Jewish University, is that Jewish students don't know enough about Jewish history to counter detractors.
“What's most troubling about the rise of anti-Semitism is the lack of knowledge among Jewish students and others about the real history of the situation. The kids don't know how to have a convincing debate. “They don't have the knowledge. They don't have the history to really stand up and tell the truth in the face of lies. And that is actually the most worrying thing,” he believes.
The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education has produced a series of videos, included in the Winter 2024 edition, to provide educators with a range of tools to help students navigate this time of war. The videos are available on the Lookstein Center's YouTube channel.
Rakshita Upadhyay, residing in the city of Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh, holds a Master’s degree in Data Mining. She has had a passion for writing and anchoring since childhood.