|RICHMOND, VA – The Commission to Combat Antisemitism today released their report on antisemitism in Virginia. The Commission, which was established by Governor Youngkin’s Executive Order 8 on his first day in office, reaffirms Virginia’s commitment to stand against hatred and intolerance and develop an actionable plan to combat antisemitism in the Commonwealth.
The Commission was established following a disturbing increase in antisemitic incidents nationally and in Virginia. In 2021, antisemitic incidents in the U.S. reached an all-time high with 2,717 separate incidents reported. In 2022 thus far, Virginia alone has seen nearly 350 reports of antisemitic acts.
“Hatred, intolerance, and antisemitism have no place in Virginia and I appreciate the committee’s hard work to highlight and grapple with these matters,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “We have challenges in Virginia and we must work together to address them. For Virginia to be the best place to live, work, and raise a family, the Commonwealth must welcome people of all faiths, ethnicities, and backgrounds with open arms.”
The Commission is tasked with analyzing trends in antisemitism nationally and in Virginia, examining the root causes of antisemitism, and proposing solutions to hold hate crime perpetrators accountable, support victims, and stop antisemitism before it starts. To this end, the Commission formed the following four subcommittees to discuss specific issues related to antisemitism and propose policy recommendations to combat antisemitism in Virginia and improve the resilience to antisemitism in state and local government:
- Definition and Scope of Antisemitism
- Educational Responses to Antisemitism
- Law Enforcement and Security Responses to Antisemitism
- Trade, Laws, and Legislation to Combat Antisemitism
The Commission’s recommendations include efforts to bolster K-12 education on the Holocaust and Judaism, increase hate crime reporting and data collection, and prevent state agencies from contracting with companies that have taken antisemitic positions.
“During Governor Youngkin’s first year in office, I have respected his desire to oppose divisiveness in varied forms and instead find moments to bring people together to make Virginia a better place,” said Commission Chairman Jeffrey Rosen. “This is one of those moments, and it is my hope that the work of our 15-member Commission speaks through this report. The recommendations of the Commission to Combat Antisemitism represent a timely and comprehensive way for Virginia to fight this form of hatred and bigotry head-on.”
“Rising antisemitism in America and Virginia must not be tolerated. To this end, the Commission’s work will provide valuable tools to combat hate and achieve the vision of freedom from persecution set out by our Founding Fathers,” said Commission Vice-Chairman Arthur Sandler. “It has been an honor to serve the Commonwealth on the Commission and I look forward to working with Governor Youngkin to combat antisemitism and hate in all forms.”
Read the Commission to Combat Antisemitism Report here.