15 December 2022
Dear friends and supporters,
On December 13, 2022, we submitted the first-ever Study on Antisemitism in Texas to the Texas Legislature on behalf of the Texas Holocaust, Genocide, and Antisemitism Advisory Commission (THGAAC).
Below, you will find a PDF version to review and share with your members and stakeholders.
The study is especially relevant this week as Jews across Texas and the world celebrate the festival of Chanukah, which recalls the Jewish community's resiliency in fighting against hatred.
The report demonstrates what many of you already know from your daily work and ongoing mission — that antisemitic incidents have grown more frequent and extreme in Texas in recent years. This reflects a national and global trend as hate is able to spread more easily than ever through social media. This normalization of antisemitism also draws on centuries-old tropes about Jewish greed, control, and influence, which have taken root across ideologies and sectors of society.
Recognizing this rising scourge of hate, we have developed eight specific recommendations for Texas to continue its national leadership in promoting awareness, improving security, and fighting back against hatred against Jews.
Five of our recommendations can be implemented directly by the THGAAC through our ongoing advisory role to universities, school districts, government agencies, and law enforcement. They focus on:
- Supporting training about antisemitism at universities
- Expanding Holocaust education in public schools
- Using the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism as an educational and training tool
- Ensuring that Holocaust-related books are available in school libraries
- Increasing connections with law enforcement, including around hate crime reporting
Three of our recommendations will require legislative support and action in the coming legislative session. They include:
- Creating a state-funded security grant program to help religious organizations, schools, and community centers harden their security infrastructures
- Prohibiting state-funded colleges from implementing academic boycotts, such as those promoted through the anti-Israel and antisemitic global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement
- Scheduling “listening tours” for lawmakers to speak with THGAAC, local educators, and museum officials to better understand their needs around Holocaust and antisemitism education
Your input, guidance, and support were integral to our commission in researching and writing this report and developing our recommendations. We thank you for your ongoing partnership and tireless efforts to identify and eradicate antisemitism. We look forward to your continued support as Texas’ leaders review the report and consider the recommendations.
Kenneth E. Goldberg, Chair
Joy Nathan, Executive Director