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The Jewish Club presents Antisemitism Awareness Week 2022

| Monday, March 28, 2022

“We shouldn’t have to listen to Jews on this campus.”

“Jews deserve antisemitism because of Israel’s atrocities.”

“How does it feel to have killed Jesus?”

Above are only a few examples of the antisemitism experienced by Notre Dame students this academic year. There are certainly more, as documented in “Antisemitic Instances” provided by the Jewish Club. They highlight how antisemitism operates on an educational, social, political and religious level on this campus.

These events also don’t occur in a vacuum. Last year was the most antisemitic year globally in the last decade, with hatred against Jews manifesting on the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. One only has to glance at the ADL= H.E.A.T. Map to realize that the antisemitism that motivated February’s hostage situation at a Texas synagogue is a persistent, ingrained problem in the United States. Despite comprising little more than 2% of the U.S. population, Jews are the targets of over half of religious-based hate crimes. On college campuses, an ADL-Hillel survey found that nearly one-third of Jewish students experienced some form of antisemitism last year.

In response to the threat of antisemitism, the Jewish Club proudly presents the second annual Antisemitism Awareness Week. While advocacy groups have achieved notable work to combat antisemitism, more can always be done. As one of the world’s oldest forms of hatred, antisemitism capitalizes on misperceptions of Jews and lack of adequate knowledge about Judaism. Antisemites aim to weaponize these misunderstandings into persecution, discrimination and violence against Jews. This hatred often coincides with bigotry against other groups, which emphasizes the need to address this issue. For the safety of Jews and other marginalized groups, understanding and combating antisemitism is essential.

Last year, our inaugural event was a resounding success. Despite an antisemitic Zoom bombing, the student body demonstrated strong support for Jewish students and faculty, including the student senate’s unanimous approval of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism. This year, we invite the Notre Dame community to continue this vital dialogue to promote inclusivity of Jewish and other non-Catholic members of the Notre Dame family.

Events like Antisemitism Awareness Week are integral to the Catholic character of Notre Dame. Nostra Aetate, the monumental Church declaration that affirmed positive relations between Catholics and Jews, emphasizes mutual understanding between the two religions as the fruit “of biblical and theological studies as well as of fraternal dialogues.” Cultivating that dialogue is the responsibility of educational institutions like Notre Dame, according to another Church document. Engagement with the Jewish community is an essential component to Notre Dame’s Catholic mission, particularly on the issue of antisemitism. Antisemitism Awareness Week is an opportunity to participate in interfaith dialogue that ultimately strengthens the faith of all members of the Notre Dame family, whether they are Catholic, Jewish or any other faith.

Below is information on our events for the week. Everyone in the Notre Dame community is welcome to attend, regardless of your connection (or lack thereof) to Judaism. Refreshments are available at events. Please be sure to also follow @jewishclubnd on Instagram for updates throughout the week.

Monday, March 28, 4 p.m. DeBartolo Hall 216 | The State of Antisemitism in America with Sarah van Loon, Regional Director of American Jewish Committee (AJC) Chicago

Tuesday, March 29, 6 p.m. DeBartolo Hall 136 | Judaism at Notre Dame: A Panel Discussion with Jewish Students and Faculty

Wednesday, March 30, 6 p.m. Coleman-Morse Lounge | Holocaust Prayer Service: A Memorial Ceremony

Thursday, March 31, 5 p.m. DeBartolo Hall 141 | Anti-Zionism & Antisemitism: A Presentation by Trent Spoolstra from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)

Thursday, March 31, 7 p.m. LaFortune Montgomery Auditorium | IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism Information Session (Learn how to support our effort for Notre Dame’s adoption of an official antisemitism definition!)

Friday, April 1, 5 p.m. McNeill Room in LaFortune Student Center | Bystander Training for Microaggressions

Friday, April 1, 7 p.m. Duncan Student Center W229 | Shabbat Celebration (Join the Jewish Club to celebrate the Sabbath!)

 

On behalf of the Jewish Club of Notre Dame,

Bella Niforatos

co-president

March 28

 

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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