An investigation is being undertaken after a large Torah scroll was stolen, along with other religious items, from a synagogue at the Lincoln Park Jewish Centre in the city of Yonkers in New York on 25th September. The incident occurred only days before Yom Kippur.

Surveillance footage of the incident, captured from the interior and exterior of the building, was released on 5th October in an effort to find the thief. The CCTV showed the perpetrator, with a beard and Harvard t-shirt, entering the synagogue and then leaving in a change of clothes, carrying several large objects, including a laptop and guitar.

The Torah had been donated to the synagogue by a veteran of WWII and has been housed in the synagogue for many years, according to police. The scroll was kept securely behind a curtained-off sanctified cabinet in a section of the building that faces Jerusalem, as per Jewish custom.

Earlier this year, eighteen Jewish community centres around the US were deliberately targeted with a series of threatening e-mails that mentioned the use of weapons, including bombs. New York’s Albany Jewish Community Centre was among the recipients. The synagogue was closed off by authorities who searched the entire building. Authorities found no evidence that the e-mailed threats were intended to be carried out.

The Yonkers Police Department is currently appealing to the public for information or help identifying the suspect, who is believed to be local, and locating the stolen Torah.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

A Brooklyn synagogue was reportedly broken into and vandalised last week. 

A 25-year-old man suspected of causing damage to the Shore Parkway Jewish Centre in Gravesend last Sunday, during the Jewish festival of Sukkot, was arrested by police in New York last Wednesday. The assailant allegedly grabbed an Israeli flag from outside the synagogue and used it to smash synagogue windows. He then reportedly broke in and destroyed property including items relating to the festival. 

The incident was reported to police by the building’s caretaker, who apparently found the intruder wrapped in the Israeli flag shouting antisemitic slurs. 

The synagogue’s director reportedly said that the attack was “a disaster for the synagogue. We’re a poor shul. We don’t have the funds to replace our glass. I don’t know how we’re going to get out of this.” She added that the attack had alarmed the local Jewish community, with many members afraid to go to the synagogue alone. “A lot of our members are concerned. We’re scared,” she said.

She further noted that efforts had already been taken to enhance the building’s security and make members feel safe, but she remained concerned about the future.

Three of the six charges faced by the suspect are classified as hate crimes, which dramatically increase the penalties he may face if convicted.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

The online video-sharing site YouTube has finally deleted the account of the Nation of Islam (NOI), which is led by the antisemitic hate preacher Louis Farrakhan.

According to the platform, the NOI channel was removed on 2nd October for content in violation of the site’s policies against hate speech, specifically the widespread circulation of ideas that target members of a protected group as being part of evil conspiracies. Mr Farrakhan has made several claims that the Jewish people orchestrated the slave trade and the 9/11 terrorist attacks and that the Jewish community conspires to control the country’s media, economy and foreign and domestic legislation. These are all antisemitic conspiracy theories.

During a speech on 4th July, Mr Farrakhan referred to Jews collectively as “Satan” and “the enemy of God”, claiming Jews had “broken their covenant relationship with God.” He encouraged listeners to actively fight “the imposter Jews who are worthy of chastisement of God”. The controversial speech has been viewed over 1.2 million times on numerous YouTube channels, one of which is a digital cable network founded by Sean “P Diddy” Combs. The video has since been removed from the platform.

In an online lecture series between 2013 and 2014, which had an average of around 40,000 views per sermon, the NOI leader made claims that the “Jewish media”, referencing Hollywood, was responsible for “normalised sexual degeneracy, profanity and all kinds of sin.”

A spokesperson for YouTube reportedly said: “We have strict policies prohibiting hate speech on YouTube, and terminate any channel that repeatedly or egregiously violates those policies.”

The site has reportedly updated guidelines to tackle content that spreads hateful or discriminatory conspiracy theories, leading to five times more videos being removed and over 25,000 channels terminated for directly violating the revised hate speech policies.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

An international effort to generate legislative and political pressure on social media companies to raise awareness and protect platforms from individuals or groups who engage in hate speech, propaganda and disinformation online has been launched by the US Congress.

The Interparliamentary Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism was announced on 29th September by a bipartisan group of US legislators. The task force will work across party lines and in cooperation with fellow lawmakers from Australia, Canada, Israel and the UK.

The concept for the group was first introduced at the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem earlier this year.

Rep. Chris Smith, a co-founder of the Task Force, has noted that it is the responsibility of social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, to maintain safeguards and ensure that users do not abuse communication tools to spread messages of hate. The Task Force has attributed a lack of regulation to the rise in antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes online and via networking apps.

Other parliamentarians active in the Task Force include the Canadian Liberal MP Anthony Housefather, Knesset Member Michal Cotler-Wunsh of Israel’s Blue and White Party and British Labour MP Alex Sobel.

Ms Cutler-Wunsh expressed disappointment in a recent Knesset committee hearing, organised to address social media companies’ policies on antisemitic content, when a representative from the video-sharing platform TikTok failed to attend. She argued a lack of accountability was responsible for the “virulently antisemitic content” that is accessible to millions of children and young people worldwide.

Campaign Against Antisemitism continues its robust engagement with social media companies over the content that they enable to be published, and we continue to make representations to the Government in this connection.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has recently expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

An exclusive, private American social media app has found itself caught in controversy after antisemitic stereotypes were allegedly invoked during an online discussion it was hosting on relations between Jews and African Americans.

The Clubhouse is a live audio app which emerged during the COVID-19 lockdown. According to various online reports, it is “the top virtual hang-out for venture capitalists and tech-industry entrepreneurs, along with the occasional celebrity,” while Bloomberg News calls it a favoured haunt for “venture capitalists and other Silicon Valley insiders.”

Last Monday night, the by-invitation-only app hosted a virtual conversation on “Antisemitism and Black Culture,” which, according to reports, had more than 300 participants.

Some of those present reported that antisemitic tropes linking Jews with controlling commerce and banking were repeatedly invoked during the conversation.

One Clubhouse member declared on Twitter that she had listened in for “only three minutes, but heard enough” in that time to close the app and leave the discussion. She tweeted: “There’s a room on Clubhouse right now that is literally just a bunch of people talking about why it’s ok to hate Jews so I’m done with that app for a while.”

According to another attendee, who did not want to be named, the “essential thesis” was that Jewish people and Black people face the same amount of historical trauma but “because Jewish people control the banking system they were able to claim their own reparations.”

New York University (NYU) has reached an agreement with the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to revise its Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy following a legal complaint filed last year over campus antisemitism.

The administration was accused of failing to take steps to “prevent the discriminatory attack” or of acting “to prevent its reoccurrence,” following the arrest of two students who physically assaulted a celebrant at an Israel Independence Day party in April 2018 and trampled and set fire to an Israeli flag. The OCR opened the investigation into NYU last November.

Following the agreement reached with the OCR, NYU has said its updated policy would set out “the procedures for addressing and responding to … incidents and complaints of antisemitism.” The agreement also set out a description of “the forms of antisemitism that can manifest in the [NYU] university environment.”

It also pledged to issue a statement to all NYU students, faculty, and staff saying that the university does not tolerate acts of discrimination or harassment.

Among other requirements, the policy will make it mandatory for NYU to “train students, faculty and staff” about the issue of antisemitism. NYU also vowed to take disciplinary action against students who violate the policy and promised to report to the OCR on the implementation of the changes.

NYU’s settlement with the OCR was “ground-breaking,” declared attorney Neal Sher, one of those who filed the legal complaint. He hoped it would “send an important message to all colleges and universities,” he added.

The move was also welcomed by Alyza Lewin, president of the Louis D. Brandeis Centre: “This is a defeat of antisemitism that will undoubtedly improve the climate on NYU’s campus.”

Referring to the OCR’s requirement that colleges must use the International Definition of Antisemitism when addressing the issue, she added: “Other universities that are serious about combating antisemitism should follow suit and, similarly, incorporate the [Definition] into their university policies.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

A petition has been launched urging school authorities in Marin County, California to take immediate action against high school students who were active on an antisemitic social media page.

Earlier this month, an Instagram account titled “Redwood students organised [against] semitism” was discovered. The social media account, accompanied by an antisemitic caricature, named specific, local Jewish students and urged its followers to contribute additional Jewish names to a public Google document. The online list was decorated with images of bullets and a swastika. Several other accounts linked to the high school have also been found to feature antisemitic content.

The petition, which has attracted thousands of signatures, is addressed to the Tamalpais Union High School District’s (TUHSD) superintendent, Tara Taupier. It voices concern and disappointment at the lack of action taken against antisemitism by young people in the area. Redwood school officials were allegedly alerted to potential suspects in the case as early as March this year. Demands have been made for the swift discipline of the offenders to reflect a transparent zero-tolerance policy for antisemitism.

The Redwood student behind the petition said that her and fellow students were fearful that online harassment and psychological abuse could become a physical threat if this form of hatred was “swept under the rug”, and she drew parallels between the Google document and lists used during the Holocaust to record the Jewish population.

Others in the community have said that they are frightened of signing the petition and consequently being identified as Jewish.

Ms Taupier said that Marin County education, law enforcement, religious and community officials recently conducted an online forum on the controversy. The superintendent stated that members of various institutions united to express abhorrence at the incidents and share information and resources on combating antisemitism in the county.

Local law enforcement is working alongside the Northern California Computer Crimes Task Force to continue its investigations into the incident.

The social media account has been removed from the platform.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

A Jewish family has alleged that they were subjected to anti-Jewish racial abuse by a flight attendant on American Airlines.

The family were boarding flight AA142 at New York City’s JFK Airport en route to Heathrow yesterday, and whilst stowing their bags were accosted by a female crew member who allegedly shouted: “you f***ing Jews think you control the plane”.

The incident was reported by Stamford Hill Shomrim, the Jewish volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol, and is being investigated by authorities at Heathrow.

American Airlines tweeted in response that “our company culture celebrates diversity on all levels. It’s part of who we are,” inviting the victim to contact the company directly.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has contacted the airline for further comment.

If you have any more information, please contact Stamford Hill Shomrim on 0300 999 0123, quoting reference number: CAD1954 7/1/2020.

On 10th December, two antisemitic gunmen attacked a kosher grocery store in Jersey City, New Jersey, killing three civilians. A Jersey City Police Department detective was also shot and killed at a nearby cemetery shortly before the attackers targeted the store, and the gunmen themselves were killed by law enforcement.

It is now understood that the attackers — a man and a woman — were motivated by hatred towards Jews. At least one is believed to have had connections with the Black Israelite Hebrews, an extremist Black supremacist group that has also harassed and intimidated Jews on the streets of the UK and the London Underground.

Gideon Falter, Chief Executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “First Pittsburgh, then Poway and now Jersey City. Yet again American Jews are being murdered for who they are, and by those with connections to a racist group active in the UK as well. Although white supremacists pose a serious and violent threat to Jews in the United States and throughout the Western world, antisemitism is by no means confined to their extremist ideology alone, but is present among the far-left, Islamist circles and, evidently, other racist groups. It is also desperately clear that what begins as intimidation of Jews on the streets eventually escalates to violence and murder, and we call on the authorities to show zero tolerance toward anti-Jewish hate crime whenever it arises. Once more we are reminded why all decent human beings must all stand #TogetherAgainstAntisemitism, not just in word but in deed.”

Those wishing to show solidarity with the Jewish community at this time may wish to visit to add a badge to their social media profiles.

Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “Today the peace of the Jewish Sabbath was shattered when a terrorist targeted Jewish innocents at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. As the Sabbath ends, families have been broken and lives have been taken. All over the world, far-right, far-left and Islamist extremists are stoking the flames of Jew-hatred, with too little done to stop them. Antisemitism is an age-old disease which begins with hatred and violence towards Jews and ends with the unraveling of society. We mourn with the Jewish community in Pittsburgh. May the memories of those who fell today be a blessing. Today we are reminded so brutally and heartbreakingly why we must stand together against antisemitism.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism strictly confines its output to antisemitism in the United Kingdom, leaving antisemitism elsewhere in the world to our Everyday Antisemitism project, which reports daily on antisemitic incidents across the globe, and is well worth visiting and subscribing to. However, sometimes events overseas impact the fight against antisemitism in Britain. Today is such an occasion.

Bloomberg has reported that due to budgetary considerations, the United States of America is considering removing various special envoy positions, including that of Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism. Whilst Special Envoy positions may sound like an extravagance, we formed a very successful relationship with the last Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, Ira Forman.

Over meetings with Special Envoy Forman in Brussels and London, Campaign Against Antisemitism helped to create an understanding that the one of the most effective ways in which the United States of America could help Jews around the world would be to pursue the adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism. This is a cause which Special Envoy Forman embraced wholeheartedly. He brought the gravitas that the United States of America commands to international negotiations. One of Special Envoy Forman’s legacies is his involvement in the adoption by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance of the International Definition of Antisemitism. He also helped to secure support from 56 of the 57 member states of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe for adopting the definition, with only Russia disgracefully blocking its adoption.

The Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism is a hugely valuable asset to Jewish communities around the world, not only in Britain, but particularly in countries where smaller Jewish communities struggle to find a champion who will fend off their oppressors.

We hope that the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism will be one of the Special Envoy posts to survive the budget cuts under consideration.

A professor at Harvard Law School has received an antisemitic postcard sent from the UK.

The full details of the postcard’s message have been masked, but the sender addresses Professor Sanford Levinson by name and the message is clear: “Sandy,  You just got your like ass kicked. F*** you Hymie. We’re gonna drain the swamp at Harvard Law. Juden raus!”

The Nazi demand of “Juden raus!” means “Jews out!” and was also the name of a children’s board game, the goal of which was to round up Jews and place them at a “collection point”. The phrase “Drain the swamp” was used by supporters of Donald Trump during the presidential campaign as a shorthand for purging politics of corruption and corporate interests. “Hymie” is a Jewish name sometimes used by antisemites as a jibe.

Professor Levinson told the Boston Globe: “It certainly is as hostile as it could be…This is a level of antisemitic hostility that I have not seen before.”