On Being Empowered Towards No Hate in Our States

By Myra Clark-Siegel, Director, AJC Westchester/Fairfield


I recently revisited the United States Holocaust Museum in our nation’s capital. The words etched into stone at the entrance call out for a collective Call to Action, “Out of our memory…of the Holocaust, we must forge an unshakeable oath with all civilized people that never again will the world stand silent..We must understand that human rights and human dignity are indivisible.”



I watched as women, men, and children of all backgrounds and ages bore silent witness to the dangers of unchecked hatred.



This is not just a Call to Action for the Jewish community; our friends and community partners must also be strong allies and upstanders.



It begins with words. 



So much hate is directed against the Jewish people who comprise barely 2% of the U.S. population and just 0.2% across the globe. 



Consider AJC’s 2021 groundbreaking antisemitism survey, where one in four American Jews said they had experienced antisemitism in the last year. And 4 in 10 said they had changed their behavior to avoid being publicly identified as Jewish, such as self-censoring on social media, or not wearing a Star of David (Magen David) necklace in public – out of fear as Jews. 



What other religion requires security procedures in houses of worship similar to those of international airports? 



In 2023. In the United States of America. 



AJC (American Jewish Committee) is leading efforts to address antisemitism through our Call to Action Against Antisemitism (AJC.org). 



This resource provides guidance and tools to help leaders understand, respond to, and prevent antisemitism. Let’s be clear: antisemitism and hatred are everyone’s problem. 



Actions matter. 



And we can and must be empowered. 



AJC’s LFT or Leaders for Tomorrow advocacy program is an extraordinary curriculum that brings teens together each month to educate and empower them to be strong Jewish and pro-Israel advocates. We welcome for your student to apply for our Fall 2023 cohort. 



If you want to learn about how to be engaged with our allies: government officials, UN ambassadors and Consuls General, and interreligious and intergroup partners, join us to be educated, be empowered, and be an effective advocate on behalf of the Jewish community and in strengthening civil society – for the sake of all of our communities. 



Better yet, join AJC in Israel June 11-14 to celebrate Israel’s 75th anniversary at AJC’s Global Forum, bringing together global leaders for in-depth discussions, programs, and site visits. There is no better way to learn about Israel’s diverse, democratic society than this first-hand experience with AJC.


Together, we can advocate for the Jewish people and Israel and defend democratic values for all. This is indeed our unshakeable oath: to ensure that there is no hate in our states. 



Myra Clark-Siegel is AJC Westchester/Fairfield regional director. To join our efforts: westchester@ajc.org