Jewish Perceptions of Antisemitism

By Gary A. Tobin; Sharon L. Sassler | Go to book overview

Chapter One
THROUGH THE JEWISH
LOOKING GLASS

Assessing Antisemitism from the Jewish Perspective

Are Jews safe in the United States? Jews, like other Americans, are concerned about street crime and nuclear war. Most Jews also think about safety in specific terms as Jews: protection from antisemitic discrimination and violence, and the disappearance of antisemitic beliefs and attitudes.

Despite their integration into the fabric of American culture, many contemporary American Jews remain concerned about antisemitism. Jews carry with them a collective knowledge of past antisemitism in other places and other times. Older Jews are aware of the institutionalized antisemitism in the United States of just a generation ago, as are many younger Jews who have not experienced the same barriers. An organizational network has been developed to combat antisemitism, and both the Jewish press and the general press report about it. New forms of anti‐ semitism may develop, particularly in the guise of anti‐ Israel rhetoric and action. This book documents how Jews currently perceive these issues, and examines the collective efforts of Jews—through institutions, organizations, and political action—to combat antisemitism, against the backdrop of what we know about antisemitism in the United States today.

Some fundamental assumptions underlie the discussion in this book. First, Jews in the United States are rela

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