Tech stand

Silicon Valley speaks out against antisemitism

Tech leaders circulate open letter calling out spike in antisemitic hate crimes

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Arlan Hamilton speaks onstage during the REVOLT X AT&T Host REVOLT Summit In Los Angeles at Magic Box on October 27, 2019

A growing number of prominent tech and business executives are signing on to a statement denouncing antisemitism amid a recent uptick in hate crimes against Jews around the country, Jewish Insider has learned. The letter, which has been circulating Silicon Valley this week, has racked up signatures from more than 150 industry leaders as of Wednesday afternoon, including Thrive Global CEO Arianna Huffington, ViacomCBS chair Shari Redstone and former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo.

“As business leaders, we have a collective responsibility to stand up for the society we want,” the letter reads. “Today, we stand against antisemitism and violence against Jews. This is true regardless of your views on Israel; this is about protecting people from the injustice of antisemitism and hatred.”

The statement’s author, Jordana Stein, founder and CEO of Enrich, a peer learning company in San Francisco, said she was motivated to speak out while witnessing a surge in antisemitic attacks across the United States and Europe following the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas.

“The point here is to make a statement and to show that these flares of violence and attacks don’t go unnoticed,” Stein, who is Jewish, said in an interview with JI on Wednesday. “That there’s a meaningful majority that cares about this issue.”

Roy Bahat, a venture capitalist who runs Bloomberg Beta, helped craft the letter before signing his name and distributing it among tech leaders. 

“Jews should stand against all hate. Jews in the U.S. have so much privilege, but not the privilege to be immune from hate directed at us,” Bahat told JI. “In the tech industry, we build the services that connect, employ and entertain us, so we have an even more solemn responsibility to stand against all forms of hate, including the long-lasting and now-flaring antisemitism here in our country.”

David Rogier, founder and CEO of MasterClass, who also read an initial draft, agreed with that sentiment. “The tech industry is often on the forefront of social change,” he said. “It’s an industry that can have a lot of impact.”

But putting his name to the statement was also personal for Rogier. “My grandparents on one side actually met each other in a concentration camp,” he told JI. “They actually met in Auschwitz.”

“I was raised with this understanding that there is evil in the world and that people may want to kill you because of your identity,” Rogier added. “The level of antisemitism that I’ve seen in the last two or three weeks in this country is terrifying, and I wanted to help do something about it.”

The seven-paragraph letter touches on those concerns. “A violent mob macing and punching a man in New York wearing a yarmulke,” it says, listing some of the recent attacks. “Shattered synagogue windows and attacks on Jewish community centers. A group of people throwing bottles and yelling ‘die dirty Jew’ at a dinner in LA. To be too Jewish in America, or to be a Jew, is still a dangerous mark.”

“The pain and the fear around these violent attacks reverberates against the unshakable memory of the Holocaust,” the statement continues. “This horrific mass murder of Jews showed us how deep antisemitism runs, and what can happen when we allow hate against people because of their religion, race, sexuality or any other aspect of their identity.”

Other signatories include Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa, the co-founders of Warby Parker; Mark Pincus, the founder of Zynga; Arlan Hamilton, the founder of Backstage Capital; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the actor and CEO of HitRecord.

As the letter gains traction, Stein hopes it will reverberate beyond the tech community.

“Antisemitism is an insidious form of discriminaton in that it can be below the surface,” she said, “which is why I think it’s important, when it bubbles above the surface, to be called out.”

Read the full letter below.

Tech Leaders Against Anti-Semitism

If we’re going to stand against hate in all its forms, we need to stand against anti-Semitism. Too few Americans acknowledge that anti-Semitism — prejudice against Jewish people — exists. It is an insidious and long-standing hatred. 

Yet, the events of recent weeks cannot hide the truth.  A violent mob macing and punching a man in New York wearing a yarmulke. Shattered synagogue windows and attacks on Jewish community centers. A group of people throwing bottles and yelling “die dirty Jew” at a dinner in LA. To be too Jewish in America, or to be a Jew, is still a dangerous mark. 

The pain and the fear around these violent attacks reverberates against the unshakable memory of the Holocaust. This horrific mass murder of Jews showed us how deep anti-Semitism runs, and what can happen when we allow hate against people because of their religion, race, sexuality, or any other aspect of their identity.

Jews believe in tikkun olam, the idea that we have a responsibility to repair the world. At their best, Jews stand with the oppressed, as Jews have so often been throughout history. In America, that means standing with groups of all races, genders, sexualities, religions, and creeds to oppose hate that denies our humanity.

As business leaders, we have a collective responsibility to stand up for the society we want. Today, we stand against anti-Semitism and violence against Jews. This is true regardless of your views on Israel; this is about protecting people from the injustice of anti-Semitism and hatred. 

We echo the voices of our government, who have also stood up against anti-Semitism. President Biden’s pledge against anti-Semitism, White House Director of Domestic Policy Susan Rice’s condemnation of anti-Semitic attacks, and Senators introducing an anti-Semitic hate crime act. Still, government action alone is insufficient.  

We ask you to join us in standing against anti-Semitism, and in creating a more tolerant and just society for everyone. 

Signatures:

Jordana Stein, CEO, enrich

David Rogier, CEO, MasterClass

Roy Bahat, Head of Bloomberg Beta

Alex Gurevich, Managing Director, Javelin Venture Partners

Shari Redstone, Chairman of ViacomCBS and president of National Amusements

Arianna Huffington, Co-founder Huffington Post and CEO Thrive Global

Dick Costolo, Managing Partner, 01 Advisors

Mark Pincus, Founder Chair, Zynga

Bobbi Brown, Founder, Jones Road Beauty 

Baron Davis, Former NBA Player, 

Arlan Hamilton, Founder, Backstage Capital

Neil Blumenthal, Co-CEO, Warby Parker

Dave Gilboa, Co-CEO, Warby Parker

Leslie Silverglide, CEO, Mixt Greens

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, CEO, HITRECORD

Marco Zappacosta, CEO, Thumbtack

Jessica Scorpio, Co-founder, Getaround

Anthony Goldbloom, CEO of Kaggle (a Google company)

Jared Morgenstern, COO, Raya 

Jonathan Swanson, Co-founder and Exec. Chairman of Thumbtack

Josh Becker, State Senator, former CEO Lex Machina

Jack Altman, CEO, Lattice

Guy Gal, CEO, Side

Aileen Lee, Managing Partner, Cowboy Ventures

Ted Wang, Partner, Cowboy Ventures

Jana Messerschmidt, Founding Partner, #ANGELS

Tomer Cohen, CPO, Linkedin

Leah Felder Jenner, Actress, Singer

Mike Maples, Founding Partner, Floodgate 

Somesh Dash, General Partner, IVP

Matt Ocko, Co-Managing Partner at DCVC

Karin Klein, Founding Partner, Bloomberg Beta 

Sam Lessin, The Fin Exploration Company

Ilya Fushman, Partner, Kleiner Perkins

Amit Mukherjee, Partner, NEA 

Jeremy Levine, Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners

James Cham, Partner, Bloomberg Beta

Christine Tao, CEO, Sounding Board

Jomayra Herrera, Partner, Reach Capital

Mike Ghaffary, General Partner, Canvas Ventures

James Kim, Partner, Qatalyst 

Michael Hughes, Managing Director, Qatalyst

Erik Torenberg, Cofounder Village Global and Ondeck

Steve Harrick, General Partner, IVP

Eric Liaw, General Partner, IVP

Nupur Srivastava, CPO, Grand Rounds

Felicia Curcuru, CEO, Binti 

David Eckstein, CFO, Menlo Security

Dennis Phelps, General Partner, IVP

Susan Alban, Partner, Renegade Partners

Jeremy Kranz, Managing Director, GIC 

David Spector, President, ThirdLove

Jerry Dischler, VP/GM, Ads, Google

Noah Shanok, Founder, Stitcher,

Tali Rapaport, CEO, Tuck 

Adam Gross, Investor 

Clara Brenner, Managing Partner, Urban Innovation Fund

Mada Seghete, Co-founder, Branch Metrics

Dan Saper, Boundless Ventures 

Margot Langsdorf, Principal, Rich Talent Group 

Amy Saper, Partner, Accel

Josh Felser, Climactic CoFounder

Nick Soman, CEO, Decent 

Rick Yang, General Partner, NEA

Robert Lopez, SVP, Justworks

Jules Maltz, General Partner, IVP

Adam B. Struck, Founder & Managing Partner, Struck Capital

Michael Daughtery, former CSO, Angellist 

Michael Sharon, CEO, Taika

Daniel Zakowski, CEO of Ready, Set, Food

Turi Munthe, CEO, Parlia

Zach Goldstein, CEO, Thanx

Thomas Loverro, General Partner, IVP

Jonathan Triest, Partner, Ludlow Ventures

Nicole Behnam, Founder, Beyond Media

Uri Pomentraz, Venture Partner, Jackson Square Ventures 

Marc Bridge, CEO, At Present

Erik Huberman, Founder and CEO, Hawke Media

Scott Silver, VP, Engineering Google and YouTube

Tara Levy, VP, Google

Sarah Hofstetter, President, Profitero

Rabi Gupta, CEO, EvaBot Inc

Marla Kaplowitz, President & CEO, 4A’s

Lisa Mann, CMO and MD, Raines Executive Search and Talent

Brad Schneider, CEO, Nomad Data

Matt Wurst, Global Client Lead, Jellyfish

Jim Greer, CEO, Bash Video 

Michael Pollock, CEO, Intricately

Roseanne Wincek, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Renegade Partners

Aaron Cannon, VP Product, Jumpstart

Phillip Buckendorf, CEO, Airspace Intelligence

Kfir Gavrieli, Co-founder, CEO, Tieks

David Gutelius, CEO, Motiva AI

Isharna Walsh, CEO, Coral 

Sean Downey, VP, Google

Andrew Fine, Partner, Novel TMT Capital

Jonathan Keidan, Founder, Torch Capital 

Christian Oestlien, VP, Product Management, YouTube

Michelle Tandler, CEO, Life School

Allie Miller, Startups and VC, AWS

Olivier Adler, CFO, Shippo 

Bob Abbott, Partner, Norwest 

Ezra Galston, Founding Partner, Starting Line

Dan Levy, Partner, Bain and Co

Julie Lein, Managing Partner, Urban Innovation Fund

Ra Burde, Policy Advisor, Google 

Harley Sugarman, CEO, Enigma

Rachel Tipograph, Founder & CEO of MikMak

Jake Poses, CEO, Jumprope

Ken Hertz, Senior Partner,  HERTZ LICHTENSTEIN YOUNG & POLK

Ezra Galston, Founding Partner, Starting Line

Tal Briller, Sr. Director, VMware

Randy Lubin, CEO, Leveraged Play

Ido Leffler, Founder and CEO, Yoobi

Yael Mohan, Partner, Bain & Company

Chris O’Riordan, Head of Corporate Strategy and M&A, Interstate Batteries

Sarah Groen, Owner, Bell & Bly Travel

Jacqui Goldman, Corporate Development, Stripe

Pragav Jain, M&A and Corp Development, Waymo

Yohei Iwasaki, CEO, Anifie

Laurent Goldstein, Program Manager, Oracle

Benjamin Zenou, CEO & Founder, SimpliField

Tal Morgenstern, Partner, Lightspeed 

T. Dupree Scovell, Managing Partner, Woodbine Development Corporation 

John Krzywicki, Commercial lead, Invitae

Pascal Bensoussan, CPO, Ivalua

Michael Lebowitz, Founder & CEO, Big Spaceship

Jo Riley, CEO, Censia 

Oded Pelled, CEO, MindKick Inc. 

Tracy Lawrence, CEO, Love Engine

Danielle Russell, Managing Director, Google

Andrew Rogiet, Product Manager, Amazon

Danny Bernstein, Managing Director, Google

David Kaul, Managing Director, Google

Ben Fried, CIO, NYC Site Lead, Google

Abigail Posner, Director, Google

Laura Slabin, Director, Google

Jason Ostheimer, Co-Founder, Advancit Capital

Eric Moret, Director of Product Management, Lacework

Meital Amzallag, Am Detroit 2

Lionel Chocron, Chief Product Officer, Hedera

Catherine Lewi, Head of marketing business communications Google

Alan Chiu, CEO, Enya.ai

Mike Stein, Senior Tech Artist, Niantic 

Danny Greene, VP Global Marketing, Curio Digital, Inc.

Joe Wilson, Managing Partner, Undeterred Capital

John Yi, Founder, Resonant Works

Thomas Pueyo, VP Product & Growth, author

Stefan Kratz, Managing Director, Phoenix Clean Power

Shely Aronov, CEO, InnerPlant  

Kate Doerksen, CEO, Ditto

Brad Wolfe, Executive Director, Reimagine End of Life

Nathan Kondamuri, Co-CEO

Ben Arnon, Co-Founder & CRO, Curio Digital, Inc.

Frank Visciano, Managing Director, Visciano Group

Juan Hernandez, CEO, Curio Digital, Inc.

Mikhail Pecherskiy, CEO, ADG group

Charles Anderson, CEO

Ada Grigoriev, Head of User Support (Candidate) – HR Operations, Google

Jeff Fluhr, General Partner, Craft Ventures

Ooshma Garg, CEO, Gobble

Lisa Falzone, CEO, Athena Security

Jess Mah, CEO, Indinero

Robert Lopez, SVP, Justworks

Adam Swig, Adam Swig, Value Culture, Reboot

Shaun Gerry, Head of Industry, Google Marketing Platform

Gabe Klein, Head of Platform & Marketing, Obvious Ventures

Sharen Phillips,Head of US Channel Sales Partners, Google

Alex Fleshner, Group Manager, Strategic Account @ Google

Greg Fleishman, Co-Founder & CEO, Foodstirs

Gail Livingston, Head of Industry, Google

Veronica Juarez, Founder, arturo advisory

Ben Blumenrose, Designer Fund

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