Credit The Communities


While Ira Forman rightly reminds us of the important work of some major organizations to combat anti-Semitism, he misses an opportunity to highlight those often at the heart of the matter: local Jews and Jewish communities (“How Our Jewish Organizations Combat Anti-Semitism,” Opinion, March 24).

In Europe, Jewish communities have been facing a fourfold threat: anti-Semitism, Islamist terrorism, economic tumult, and rising nationalist extremism. Rather than be deterred and retreat, European Jews are on the front lines, forging partnerships with civil society groups; fighting bans on ritual slaughter and circumcision; urging their governments and law enforcement to provide better security and to take strong positions against anti-Semitism; and speaking out against those who whitewash Holocaust-era complicity.

We’ve been working with scores of these communities to ensure they strengthen themselves for future challenges, so they are prepared for crises and have the resilience to thrive in difficult times.

While these communities are supported by us and other Jewish organizations that Forman mentions, the heroic efforts of the communities themselves deserve our admiration, thanks and recognition.

David Schizer, CEO, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)

Benjamin Albalas, President, European Council of Jewish Communities