Antisemitism in this country has seen a resurgence few could have predicted just a few years ago. On State of Belief, host Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush is conducting a series of conversations about the history, strategy, impact and manifestations of bigotry and conspiracy theories aimed at our Jewish neighbors. Even more, we’re exploring ways dedicated activists are organizing across religious and cultural lines to resist and defeat this hateful rhetoric and threat of violence.
Here are those conversations, as heard on State of Belief Radio!
Rabbi Sharon Brous is founder and senior rabbi of IKAR Jewish community in Los Angeles. She explains how antisemitism threatens not only Jewish Americans and communities, but democracy itself. She also offers profound insights about the communities of resistance standing together, and specific suggestions for what actions best strengthen that resistance.
Eric K. Ward is Executive Vice President at Race Forward, an accomplished advocate for community across lines of division – and a Punk musician who has very personal history with the tactics used to divide us one from the other. He argues that the threats facing Jews, other minority communities, and our very democracy are a side effect of the real progress inclusivity is making in our society’s mainstream.
Rabbi Jonah Pesner is Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. He shares his conviction that while antisemitism is unique among forms of bigotry, working across lines of identity today is the best and only way to challenge all of those threats.
Rev. Jennifer Bailey is founder and executive director of Faith Matters Network. She worries that her young son, growing up Black and Jewish, faces two sets of threats… But she also celebrates the twin heritages of resilience and survival that she calls his “superpowers” in an age of racism and antisemitism.
Rabbi Joshua Stanton is Senior Fellow at Clal in New York City and Senior Rabbi at East End Temple. He finds blessings in the allyship Jews are experiencing today across a vast and diverse range of communities despite the surge in antisemitism staining other parts of our society.
An activist, public speaker and musician, known by many as the “TikTok Rabbi,” Rabbi Sandra Lawson is Inaugural Director of Racial Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Reconstructing Judaism. Responding to the very real threat of antisemitism and other forms of bigotry, she makes the powerful claim that “We’ve already won” – and the mandate for vigilance that comes with truth.
Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg is scholar-in-residence at the National Council of Jewish Women. Her latest book is On Repentance and Repair: Making Amends in an Unapologetic World, and her perspective on the thousand-year history of antisemitism offers both a grave warning – and a sense of proporion that calls for concerted action, but also hope.
Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block is Washington Director of Bend the Arc Jewish Action. He brings insight of the actual numbers of antisemitic acts and actions, as well as examples of how antisemitism is deployed in our culture today. The conversation includes the importance of reporting incidents, and rejecting the widespread belief that in some quarters, antisemitism is somehow inevitable.
Isaac Luria is a Jewish activist with a long career supporting multi faith communities to advocate for racial and economic justice. He goes in-depth to analyze the eventual goals of extremist groups consciously deploying antisemitism in our country, and the technologies they use to do so.