Anti-Semitism iStock

Mayors from over 100 American cities participated in a training session on combating anti-Semitism in their communities hosted by the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

The one-hour virtual event was organized by the US Conference of Mayors (USCM) in partnership with the ACJ.

In January, both organizations issued a joint statement calling on mayors and municipal leaders to sign a statement declaring that “anti-Semitism is not only an attack on Jews, but an assault on the core values of any democratic and pluralistic society.”

So far, 690 mayors have signed the statement titled “Mayors United Against Antisemitism.”

The statement reads in part: “We, the undersigned Mayors, express our deep conviction that anti-Semitism is not only an attack on Jews but an assault on the core values of any democratic and pluralistic society. In a world of global communications, where anti-Semitic ideas spread rapidly, a concerted and principled response is required to raise awareness, to educate, and to ensure decency prevails. As mayors and municipal leaders, we have a unique responsibility to speak out against the growing menace of anti-Semitism.”

Monday’s virtual event sought to educate mayors and their staff about the range of anti-Semitic conspiracies, tropes, and symbols, along with the types of anti-Semitism coming from the right, left and religious extremists. It also offered “concrete steps” that can be taken on the municipal level to “protect Jews and promote pluralism.”

During the session, Holly Huffnagle, AJC Director for Combating Anti-Semitism, gave a presentation on AJC resources to fight Jew-hate, including several AJC reports on anti-Semitism and hate while Rebecca Klein, AJC Director of National Outreach, spoke about concrete methods of fighting anti-Semitic rhetoric and events at the ground level.

In April, the ACJ released an updated version of its guidebook of anti-Semitic terms, Translate Hate. The book is a free glossary of common anti-Semitic terms and tropes.

Huffnagle called it an “essential tool” for combating anti-Semitism.

The training session was similar to past sessions the AJC has conducted for high level federal, state and local officials, including the FBI and National Association of Attorneys General.