Viewpoint: Local group combats antisemitism, and you can help

by Jason Moss | Special to the Courier

Three weeks ago the White House released The U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism. This national approach is the first of its kind here in the U.S. and includes more than 100 action steps, touches on all aspects of society, and involves all governmental agencies. With this as a backdrop I feel it is important to share what the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys has been doing locally to combat antisemitism.

Between 2021 and 2022, the Anti-Defamation League found there was a 41% increase in antisemitic incidents in California. These have included targeted attacks on Jews walking out of synagogues, to swastikas and other forms of vandalism hitting schools, to banners being placed on a 405 Freeway overpass saying “Kanye was right” following West’s diatribe against Jews and a series of flyers spewing hate and accusations about Jews tossed on neighborhood driveways. This escalation of antisemitic incidents and vitriol in society has caused anxiety, concern, and anger, which, as a result has forced the Jewish community to focus more on security out of fear.

The Jewish Federation worked closely with local law enforcement and organizations like the ADL to discuss ways to handle the situation.

In December 2022, I wrote an op-ed [“Jews need allies in confronting antisemitism,” December 2, 2022] drawing attention to the issue and calling for community members to stand with the Jewish community to combat this hatred. However, I knew more needed to be done, and the Jewish Federation jumped into action.

This March, the Jewish Federation initiated our effort by sending letters to the city council members of the 48 cities we cover imploring them take the following action steps:


  1. Sign the American Jewish Committee and The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ statement to combat antisemitism and join the over 700 mayors who have already done so. (Only four of our local mayors — in Brea, Chino Hills, El Monte, and South El Monte — had signed onto the statement before the letter was sent.)
  2. Adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism.
  3. Adopt a resolution denouncing antisemitism and all forms of hatred.
  4. Establish a task force of representatives from various targeted ethnic and racial groups to work with city officials to develop a plan to confront hatred.


During the last three months city councils, including Claremont’s, responded by passing resolutions, agreeing to sign onto AJC and The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ statement, and adopting IHRA’s working definition on antisemitism. Other councils that signed on include Upland, Monrovia, Alhambra, Sierra Madre, San Gabriel, Temple City, Pasadena, Whittier, Diamond Bar, Walnut, South Pasadena, and Ontario.

On behalf of the local Jewish community, I want to publicly thank these 13 cities’ leaders for standing with us and publicly stating that your city does not tolerate antisemitism or any form of hatred. I am hopeful Glendale will be added to this list in the coming weeks.

If you do not see your city listed above, I urge you to contact your city leaders and ask them why they have not taken a public stand against antisemitism and all forms of hatred and to implore them to take immediate action, as requested by the Jewish Federation, and stand with neighboring communities against hate. Please encourage everyone you know to do the same and help us in our effort to combat antisemitism and all forms of hatred.

Lastly, if you experience or witness any form of antisemitism or hate, even if you feel it “was nothing,” or don’t think it will make a difference, report it! When I speak with the ADL, FBI, and even law enforcement, they all say to report every incident. This information helps them build cases, and by collecting this data, it will continue to impact local, state, and federal policies.

The Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys will continue our effort to combat antisemitism locally and with your help, we can make a real difference in our community … together!

Jason Moss is the executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys.


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