ADL partners with Jewish Agency to train ‘shlichim’ on identifying, countering antisemitism

New initiative to be revealed today at a gathering of the roughly 350 emissaries in North America

The Jewish Agency for Israel is teaming up with the Anti-Defamation League to train its North American emissaries in combating antisemitism in light of the increasing number of anti-Jewish incidents across the country, the organizations shared exclusively with eJewishPhilanthropy.

This marks the first such partnership between the two organizations.

The new training program is being announced today at a gathering in Stamford, Conn., of the roughly 350 Jewish Agency emissaries, or shlichim, that are currently serving in North America. This is the first Kenes Shlichim — the annual gathering of the Jewish Agency emissaries — since the Oct. 7 attacks, which affected many of them personally.

The partnership comes amid a noted rise in antisemitic incidents around the globe, much of it related to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. 

Through this new  joint venture, ADL staff will train the shlichim — not only the current crop but future cohorts as well — on antisemitism in the U.S., including relevant data, what it looks like and what to do about it, an ADL spokesperson said.

“These shlichim are dealing with students, families, youth groups, synagogues across the U.S. Jewish community. They need to know how antisemitism looks and what to advise their communities to do about it if asked,” the ADL official said.

Earlier this month, the ADL reported that it had found nearly 3,300 antisemitic incidents between Oct. 7 and Jan. 7, a nearly four-fold increase from the same period last year. (For the first time, the ADL included anti-Israel protests where no explicit threats are made in its tally of antisemitic incidents, maintaining that holding such protests outside of Jewish — not Israeli — institutions actions are are “intended to terrorize Jews.”)

“In the aftermath of the horrific massacre in Israel on Oct. 7, we are reminded not just of the importance of the State of Israel for the Jewish people but also of the importance of fighting antisemitism in all forms and in all places,” Maj. Gen. (res.) Doron Almog, chairman of the Jewish Agency, said in a statement. “Our shlichim are helping young American Jews be proud of their identities and feel a unique bond with Israel, and we are proud to partner with the world’s leading anti-hate organization to do everything we can to further those objectives.”

The training sessions will take place in seven regions: Cleveland, Florida, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Chicago.

“In this unprecedented time, there’s a hunger among American Jews to deepen connections with Israel – the work of the shlichim to build those bridges has never been more important,” Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO, said in a statement. “We’re grateful to be partnering with the Jewish Agency, the largest Jewish organization in the world, to equip their incredible emissaries from Israel with all the tools they need to combat antisemitism as they are working with U.S. Jewish communities.”