Understanding Antisemitism in the World and at Williams

As reports of antisemitic incidents have increased across the United States in recent years and months, individuals of Jewish heritage and those involved with Jewish communities have witnessed flyering, graffiti, and vandalism; harassment and threats; and in some cases, violence. Those who wear identifiably Jewish clothing have become targets for antisemitic attacks, and the result is that Jews are increasingly concerned for their safety on the street and in the synagogue. This has led many Jews, even at Williams College, to fear for their safety.

And yet, there are widespread misperceptions about antisemitism, and even about Jews and Judaism. Even among Jews, not everyone agrees on what constitutes antisemitism. In this session with Rabbi Lev Meirowitz Nelson, Director of Education at T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, we will explore some of the underpinnings of antisemitism and how it manifests today in the public square, online, and on college campuses. We will explore different aspects of this form of bias and how it affects the lives of students at Williams College, especially as we navigate access to higher education. We will seek to better understand the ways in which antisemitism functions, how it is understood by different people, and how we might respond to it.

A Lunchtime Dialogue, 12:15 – 1:45pm in the Faculty House Lounge. C0-sponsored by the Williams College Jewish Association.