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White House set to release antisemitism strategy ahead of Shavuot

An individual familiar with the strategy told JI that supporters of the IHRA definition of antisemitism have been ‘reassured’ that they will be ‘pleased’ by the final product

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, at the Grand Staircase of the White House on May 24, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

The White House’s much-anticipated national strategy to combat antisemitism is set to be released on Thursday, after months of behind-the-scenes work and input from more than 1,000 Jewish community members.

An individual familiar with the strategy told Jewish Insider that supporters of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism — which has become a key sticking point in recent weeks — have been “reassured” by the White House that they will be “pleased” by the final product and that “we have nothing to worry about.”

The comments follow a JI report that the White House was planning to feature the IHRA definition prominently but also reference the Nexus Definition, an alternative promoted by progressives.

Two individuals familiar with the strategy said that, more broadly, it reflects a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to the problem of antisemitism. One individual described the strategy, as previewed by the White House, as “very impressive and comprehensive” and said the strategy reflects that the White House is “taking this very seriously.”

The sources said the strategy includes efforts as diverse as pushing for $360 million in funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program and full funding for the Jabara Heyer NO HATE Act; expanding access to kosher food in U.S. Department of Agriculture food assistance programs; and taking action in departments as wide-ranging as Veterans Affairs, the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition, the President’s Council on Arts and Humanities and the National Endowment for Humanities.

To address antisemitism on campus, the strategy includes an awareness and education campaign for university, elementary and secondary education through the Department of Education. To tackle workplace antisemitism, the administration will be advancing programs in the Small Business Administration and Department of Labor, such as working to ensure that antisemitism is included in diversity, equity and inclusion programs.

Programs within the federal government will have built-in implementation deadlines for within the year, a source said.

The strategy will also include calls to action for state and local government, the corporate world and the media.

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