How We Respond to Antisemitism
The following message was sent out to Triad-based participants of the Antisemitism Listening Project from members of CJJ-Triad. We believe strongly in this powerful message in response to blatant antisemitism. It has been lightly edited by staff for context.
Last weekend hundreds of antisemitic flyers were disseminated to Greensboro homes, including our own; the flyers blamed Jews for the government’s response to COVID. In the aftermath of this disturbing event, we wanted to reach out to you as participants in CJJ-Triad’s listening circles this fall. We organized the Antisemitism Listening Project to provide a space for connection and healing, and to help us locate our stake in the fight for justice and liberation for all people. Our end goal at Carolina Jews for Justice is to create a more just, fair, and compassionate North Carolina.
The people who created these flyers seek to make our country into a place that is only for themselves and people like them. They want to divide all of us against each other to build their own power. In this way, antisemitism is part of the machinery of division and fear that people and politicians use to blame people of color, people who are immigrants, people who are Muslim and Jewish, and more. They want to prevent us from coming together across difference in our efforts to bring safety and freedom to our world.
We take comfort in the fact that just as people put machines together, we can also take them apart. In our listening circles, we heard each other’s stories and shared our own. We learned through the process that speaking up and speaking out is powerful, particularly when done in community. We wanted to share this resource Dismantling Antisemitism: A Message Guide by Bend the Arc and Uprise as it has helped us find our voice. We hope that you might find it useful as well.
We also invite you to the CJJ-Triad community to continue fighting against the politics of division and fear aimed at people of different faiths, races, gender/sexual identities, and nationalities. Our next general meeting is Sunday, January 23, at 3 PM, and we welcome you to join us. Sam Cone, Anne Parsons, and Rabbi Salem Pearce are also happy to speak with you about what happened. Our hope is that those small communities we built in Zoom rooms this fall continue today.
“May the spirit of truth and justice that lives within us find the courage to cry out—shaky voice and all to join in the chorus of our siblings throughout the world.” -Koach Baruch Frazier, “Holy Breath of Liberation”
Anne Parsons, Herbert Baum, Sam Cone and Alan Socol