Allyship is a process of relationship-building based on cooperation, effort and mutual respect. In the context of multiple groups, allyship may be referred to as “coalition-building” or “solidarity.” Being an ally presents opportunities to foster awareness and growth. It requires us to reflect on our privileges and ask ourselves how we can leverage it to help others. An ally is someone who:
Are there Jewish staff members, students, and/or friends you can turn to?
If so, bring the incident to their attention and ask them to share their view and/or knowledge in relation to the incident if they feel comfortable and safe to do so.
Is there a human resources representative at your company, or a guidance counsellor at your school that you trust?
If so, consult with this individual. Work collaboratively to determine the appropriate steps to take and/or report the incident.
Have you brought the incident to the attention of management or someone in a position of authority?
If necessary, discuss the incident further with someone in an upper management/leadership role. Ensure that incidents are addressed and discussed openly so they won’t reoccur.
Is there an anonymous reporting system at your company/school/organization?
Many institutions have an anonymous reporting system to allow employees to confidentially submit an incident report and share valued feedback on issues about discrimination and/or harassment. This way, targeted individuals can express their concerns without fear of retaliation or identification.
Jews originated in the area of present-day Israel. After a series of political and religious-based conflicts and antisemitic persecution, many Jews left the region and migrated to other parts of the world. As early as the third century BCE, Jewish communities sprang up in the Aegean islands, Greece, Asia Minor, Italy and Egypt. From there, the Jewish diaspora continued to grow over centuries, and today, Jews live in almost every part of the world.
Race is a concept without a clear and unanimous meaning. However, racial understandings of Judaism were at the heart of Nazi ideology and practice – for example, Jewish bodies, minds, faces, and genetics were racialized in their political philosophy. Historically and currently, antisemites often use racist theory to prove the morality of their hatred of Jews. Therefore, Jews do experience racism.
The Jewish experience of exclusion and discrimination is just as important as the exclusion and discrimination faced by other communities. Antisemitism is systemic and deeply embedded in various facets of society and has been for centuries.
While the term ‘antisemitism’ was coined only in the 19th century, hatred of and discrimination against Jews dates back thousands of years. The force and universality of anti-Jewish sentiment was alive and well long before its deadly culmination in the Holocaust. Indeed, antisemitism fueled Hitler’s genocidal desire to exterminate European Jewry, but this hatred and the deeply embedded ideas behind it did not suddenly end after World War II and the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. Sadly, antisemitism remains a persistent reality in society today.
The idea that Jews control society has long been an antisemitic trope for political, economic and social ends. While there are individuals with Jewish backgrounds in high-profile positions/sectors, it doesn’t mean that everything in society is “controlled by Jews.” Ultimately, conspiracy theory is at the heart of antisemitism.
Bystander Intervention reinforces a sense of community. It’s about recognizing someone else’s struggle or pain, and modeling empathy without necessarily abandoning your safety. Being an active bystander sends a message to those that cause harm, that harassment visibility and acknowledgement is widespread, and that people will be held accountable for their actions.If you are a witness to antisemitism or a hate crime/incident, remember the Five Steps of Bystander Intervention: