EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s Jewish-American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate our local Jewish communities, while also standing up against anti-Semitism.
Easthampton is one city that is actively taking a stand against anti-Semitism, following a resolution that moved forward Wednesday night, during an Easthampton city council meeting, to reject and condemn anti-Semitism in all forms.
Taking a stand against hate and bigotry, Easthampton City Councilor Owen Zaret, in a joint effort with leading local Jewish organizations, and the Anti-defamation League, proposed a resolution to condemn anti-Semitism in the city. “Antisemitism is a somewhat invisible form of racism and oppression, we don’t think about it a lot despite the fact the numbers are at all time highs,” says Zaret.
According to a report by the Anti Defamation League, it showed an increase in anti-Semitic incidents across New England, with Massachusetts ranking second highest in the nation.
The City of Easthampton will pledge to officially reject “the perpetuation of anti-Semitism and condemn anti-Semitic acts and statements as hateful expressions of intolerance fundamentally inimical to American values.”
Among other efforts, the resolution also includes recognizing Holocaust Remembrance Day, as well as providing education to residents and students about anti-Semitism.
Nora Gorenstein, Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, tells 22News, “If we can start having these conversations and move the needle forward to make progress before we see more incidents of anti-Semitism taking place, that’s the time to act.”
Both Zaret and Gorenstein say the hope is that other western Massachusetts leaders use this resolution as a model for their communities, adding that the work to combat anti-Semitism in our area has only just begun.
The resolution will be sent to the Rules and Government Relations Committee for further discussion.
For more information, and to learn more about the fight against anti-Semitism, visit here.