2021 Resolution

Antisemitism 2021

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) adopted the following working definition of antisemitism:

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” (2016)

Antisemitism has been well documented throughout centuries of history in almost every part of the world and has been demonstrated via despicable criminal acts as well as more subtle ways such as discrimination in housing, real estate, employment, banking and social memberships. This unsolicited resentment, bias and hate culminated and resulted in the Holocaust and continues today, creating terror and threats to all parts of Jewish life.

Whether it be on a news channel, a college campus or a social media communication, there are those who deny that the Holocaust happened despite clear, historical evidence. One can witness the rise of antisemitic crimes and events in today’s world as evidenced by knife attacks on Jews in public places, murders via terror attacks within synagogues and demonstrations by hate groups.

Antisemitism has become a national crisis in the United States, as antisemitic incidents hit an all-time high in 2019 according to an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) report. Following the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA, an NBC News/Washington Post poll found that 9 percent of Americans believe that it is acceptable to hold neo-Nazi views. The ADL interviewed 4 billion persons globally (starting at age 18) and found that 1.9 billion harbor antisemitic attitudes.

The United States is based on freedom of religion and the importance of justice and equality for all who inhabit these borders. Jews should be able to enjoy these rights without fearing danger or bias.

 Therefore, The Federation of Jewish Women’s Organizations of Maryland at the 104th Convention assembled on May 13, 2021 resolves to:

  • Recognize, accept, and support the above definition of antisemitism
  • Urge our elected officials at all levels of government to combat antisemitism via monitoring incidences of antisemitism, to act upon these incidences through legislation, to publicly denounce acts of antisemitism, and to support Holocaust education in our school systems
  • Inform our Jewish community regarding antisemitic bills and/or proposals through our FLAME updates
  • Provide educational programs and/or resources that will allow our constituents to advocate and respond to anti-Semitic activities and events
  • Advocate for legislation and policies that combat any form of antisemitism
  • Collaborate with institutions and organizations that denounce hate publications, crimes, and demonstration, and
  • Work towards creating an environment that fights hate crimes and promotes harmonious relationships within our own community as well as all peoples through dialogue and outreach.

Today’s Immigration Issues

As a reflection of our Jewish history and based on the biblical imperative to welcome the stranger, the American Jewish Community has long advocated for fair and just immigration and refugee policies. As the Torah says, “And a stranger thou shalt not wrong neither shall thou oppress him, for you were a stranger in the land of Egypt.”

The United States is a nation of immigrants.  Jewish people are here today because our ancestors chose to immigrate to the shores of the United States for religious freedom and economic opportunities.  Throughout the U.S. history, the federal government has established many different laws stating who may enter and stay here.

The founders and the colonials of the United States were persons who immigrated for religious and economic freedoms.  Once established, those already here have discriminated against newly immigrated groups: the Chinese who came here to build the railroads; the Irish seeking food not famine; Italians, Latinos and Jews seeking religious freedom; and the Japanese who were interned during World War II; and those seeking asylum from repressive governments, including Latin American and Arab countries.  They came, as they continue to come, seeking a better life.

Immigrants, throughout the centuries and even today, contribute to our economy, fill needed jobs, and frequently pay taxes. Their children grow up here and become Americanized and part of the American landscape. There are 800,000 Deferred Arrivals for Childhood Action (DACA) young people in the U.S. today.  Deferred means deferred action from deportation.  These are children, who were brought here as children, who have grown up here, who have known no other country and whose parents are here illegally.  These children are currently threatened with deportation to the land in which they have never lived and may be in danger in the U.S. as well.

In 2019 there were 70.8 million forcibly displaced persons worldwide.  In 2016 the United States refugee quota allowed to come to the U.S. was 110,000 persons.  In 2020 the quota was drastically reduced to only 18,000.  In addition, regulations have further limited visas available for family reunification, creating huge backlogs and prolonged separation of families. As the refugee quota decreased so did the federal funding for organizations providing assistance for refugee settlement.  Many went out of existence.

Therefore, The Federation of Jewish Women’s Organizations of Maryland at the 104th Convention assembled on May 13, 2021 resolves to:

  • Call upon Congress to adopt and the President to sign comprehensive immigration reform that will:
    • Include a path to legalization and citizenship of undocumented immigrants in the US with emphasis on DACA qualified children
    • Increase the number of visas for unskilled workers and streamline the process for visa renewal
    • Expand the number of refugees permitted to enter the U.S. legally
    • Prioritize the entry and reunification of family members waiting to legally immigrate, and
    • Restore funding for refugee assistance agencies, including HIAS.
  • Advocate for humane treatment for all detained immigrants, including:
    • Medical care
    • Adequate housing
    • Education for children
    • Reunification and maintenance of family units and
    • Reduction of the time needed for vetting.
  • Urge Maryland legislators to continue to support DACA students and refugee organizations in Maryland.
  • Thank Governor Larry Hogan for agreeing to settle legal refugees in Maryland.

Threat to United States Democracy

The word “democracy” is derived from the Greek word meaning “government of the people.” Merriam Webster Dictionary defines democracy as a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.

The founders of the United States of America created a democratic, representative government as a politically inclusive system where the citizens can have a say by vote in the running of the government and in return those elected have a responsibility to their voters.  The basic concepts of our American democracy includes:

  • Recognition of the worth and dignity of the individual while serving the interests and rights of the many
  • Respect for the equality of all persons before the law and for potential opportunities
  • Belief in the rule of the majority with respect of minority rights and opinions and
  • Acceptance of compromise to blend and adjust competing views, leading to consensus.

In the last several years, the United States of America has come under the threat of losing our democratic form of government and the rights and privileges of citizenship we hold so dear. The following is a list of the threats that could cause: 

  • Abuse of authority and power of elected officials
  • Control by one group or faction at the expense of others
  • Manipulation of demonstrated truth to further their own causes
  • Use of violence by powerful forces and recognized organizations and individual leaders
  • Acts and incidents that include loss of life and destruction of property
  • Use of discrimination in all forms against diverse populations
  • Partisan gerrymandering of voter districts determined by the majority of lawmakers for the benefit of themselves and their political parties
  • Suppression of legitimate voters with states enacting harsh restrictions, especially for non-white and other marginalized citizens and
  • Inequitable use of the Electoral College vs. the popular vote.

To maintain our democratic form of government where the power rests in the hands of its citizens with fair voting and consideration of the rights and privileges of our citizens, be it resolved that The Federation of Jewish Women’s Organizations of Maryland at the 104th Convention assembled resolve to:

  • Return to civility for the fair treatment of all
  • Respect individual rights that allow for debate, discussion and deliberation for compromise without violence
  • Ensure fair and free elections and voting rights for all citizens,
  • Reform campaign finance
  • Encourage police reform by building mutual respect of officers and civilians and by identifying and disciplining those officers who do act inappropriately to meet police standards of fair and equitable treatment of all
  • Strengthen hate crime legislation and its enforcement
  • Promote the apprehension and trial of the perpetrators of violence, no matter their political views or community standing and
  • Educate, inform and make your members and the public aware of the inaccuracies and lies presented from all sources while promoting understanding among diverse and marginalized populations.


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