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Anti-Semitism in Contemporary America

Sun, December 16, 12:30 to 2:00pm, Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center, Harborview 2 Ballroom

Session Submission Type: Roundtable

Session Sponsor: American Jewish Year Book and Berman Jewish DataBank


The dramatic increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the past two years occurs at the same time that Jews—unlike in earlier generations—are regarded the most warmly of all religious groups by representative samples of all Americans. While anti-Semitism is a persistent and enduring societal blight, it is not static and immutable. Anti-Semitic beliefs do change over time and the level and nature of prejudicial attitudes and anti-Jewish behaviors do wax and wane. As a complex and dynamic societal feature, the state of anti-Semitism needs to be closely examined and its contemporary manifestations carefully investigated and assessed. Consequently in this Roundtable, attention is focused on 1) trends in anti-Semitic attitudes, 2) trends in hate crimes and other anti-Semitic incidents, 3) the evaluations of Jews compared to other social groups, 4) differences in anti-Semitism across major socio-demographic groups (education, race/ethnicity, religion, and age/cohort), 5) special topics including a) the new anti-Semitism, b) additional, potential sources of anti-Semitism, c) anti-Semitic responses to trigger events, and d) recent developments in 2016-2017, 6) measuring hidden and latent anti-Semitism, and 7) an overall summary and reflection on research needs. This overview will be supplemented by an examination of the American historical context as well as contemporary regional differences and college manifestations in the US.

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