Educating the Community on Antisemitism

Posted on 07/16/2021 @ 08:00 AM

Tags: Teen Education & Engagement

Photo JTA.ORG

CAJE’s Teen Department and March of the Living Director, Carly Orshan, was asked by the Miami Marlins Foundation to speak to the Miami Marlins staff on a panel regarding antisemitism, along with Yael Hershfield, Interim Regional Director of ADL, and Josh Sayles, Director of Jewish Community Relations and Government Affairs for the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.
 
The Miami Marlins Foundation has a new focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion and requested to be educated about the Jewish experience and the issues facing the Jewish community today. To align with their new mission, the Marlins partnered with Hillel at FIU who organized a panel discussion on antisemitism for the organization.
 
Although the United States has been a place where Jews have historically found refuge from mistreatment in other lands, recently there has been a rise in violent and disturbing attacks targeting the U.S. Jewish community, which began again amidst the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in May 2021. 
 
The panelists discussed the 3,500-year history of antisemitism, the Holocaust, and issues today, such as how social media affects the conversation, issues on campus, local hate crimes, antisemitism and Israel, the rise of antisemitism in progressive America and on the far right -- all in just one hour!
 
Carly shared the work CAJE does in educating teens through the Miami March of the Living program.
 
The importance of educating teens was discussed in connection to the alarming survey on Holocaust knowledge that came out a few years ago. Based on the survey, nearly two-thirds of millennials and Gen Z’ers do not know that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, and almost half can’t name a single concentration camp.
 
Even more alarming, that same survey demonstrated wide gaps in younger American’s knowledge of the genocide while also showing a concerning 15% of millennials and Gen Zers believing that holding neo-Nazi views are acceptable.
 
By facilitating a conversation with the Marlins staff, Carly discovered many of the participants had questions regarding the Holocaust and did not understand how it was uniquely Jewish. Nor did they accurately comprehend the polarizing political landscape of antisemitism today.
 
Most importantly, in reflecting upon the experience Carly emphasized the importance of education as a tool for Jews and non-Jews. If we are going to repel the challenge of antisemitism today, we need to reach out to those outside of the Jewish community to help us. 


How wonderful it is that nobody need wait
a single moment before starting
to improve the world.”
 
- Anne Frank