(JTA) — Large Jewish organizations in seven countries outside of Israel have formed a task force to collaborate on fighting antisemitism.
The task force, nicknamed the “J7” and announced Tuesday, includes representatives from the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Argentina and Australia.
According to multiple recent estimates, those countries have the largest populations of Jews outside of Israel, excluding Russia, which was not included in the task force. Israel will also not have an official representative on the task force, though many if not all of the participating groups see combating anti-Zionism as part of their mandate.
“Antisemitism is rising around the world, especially in countries where there are large Jewish populations,” Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, which is one of the group’s members, said in a statement. “And threats to our communities are not contained by continents and borders.”
The task force’s activities will include consultations between the member organizations’ leaders, as well as the formation of working groups to address a range of issues, including tech policy, education, security and extremism, among others. The groups plan to meet at an ADL conference next year, in addition to holding virtual meetings.
The task force is not the first time Jewish organizations and activists have coordinated across borders. Several groups — including the World Jewish Congress, the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency for Israel — have offices and staff in countries around the world, promoting connections to Israel, Jewish education, advocacy against antisemitism or other causes.
And Jewish groups have been coming together across borders to fight antisemitism for at least two decades. As attacks against U.S. Jews have increased, some Jewish security specialists here have considered the approach of European Jewish security organizations as a model.
The groups in the new task force have also collaborated previously. The ADL regularly surveys antisemitic attitudes in countries around the world, and partnered with the Board of Deputies of British Jews last year on an initiative to educate students about Jews and antisemitism. The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, the task force’s Canadian member, has also partnered with other task force members including the ADL, the Board of Deputies, the French Jewish umbrella group CRIF and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
The task force will also include the Central Council of Jews in Germany, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and the DAIA, an Argentinian Jewish umbrella group.