Your Daily Phil: Antisemitism spikes after 10/7 attacks

Good Wednesday morning.

In today’s edition of Your Daily Phil, we report on Hadassah’s upcoming Zionism conference and an upcoming Jewish comics convention. We feature an opinion piece by clergy and staff from the East End Temple in Manhattan about ways to support emotional health in parents and caregivers. Also in this newsletter: Ronnen Harary, Adam Sandler and Susie Gelman. We’ll start with a new report from the Anti-Defamation League identifying a major rise in antisemitic events since the Oct. 7 terror attacks.

In the wake of Hamas’ massacre in southern Israel on Oct. 7, antisemitic incidents in the U.S. have spiked by 388%, according to a new study released today by the Anti-Defamation League, reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Haley Cohen

The preliminary findings identified a total of 312 antisemitic incidents between Oct. 7-23, 190 of which were directly linked to the Israel-Hamas war. The findings are a sharp contrast from the same period last year, when ADL reported 64 anti-Jewish incidents, only four of which were Israel-related.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the group’s CEO, said the findings are alarming but not surprising, as it is typical for antisemitic incidents to rise globally when conflict erupts in Israel. During the last Israel-Hamas war, in May 2021, the ADL reported a 115% increase in antisemitic events from May 11 through the end of that month, compared with the same period in 2020.

“From white supremacists in California displaying antisemitic banners on highway overpasses to radical anti-Zionists harassing Jewish people because of their real or perceived support for the Jewish state, we are witnessing a disturbing rise in antisemitic activity here while the war rages overseas,” Greenblatt said in a statement. 

Major increases in antisemitic activity have also been seen in Jewish communities around the world since the Oct. 7 attacks. In France, there have been 588 antisemitic incidents reported to police as of Monday; Germany has seen a 240% increase of antisemitic incidents since Oct. 7, compared to last year, almost all of which have been related to Israel; and London police have reported at least 218 antisemitic hate crimes reported from Oct. 1-18, more than 13 times the number from the same period last year.

“We will continue to work with our staff team of security experts and thousands of volunteers around the country to keep our Jewish institutions and events safe,” Richard Priem, COO and deputy national director of Community Security Service, told eJP.

Read the full report here.


Hadassah CEO Naomi Adler speaks at an event in an undated photograph.
Hadassah CEO Naomi Adler speaks at an event in an undated photograph. (Courtesy/Hadassah Facebook)

A two-day virtual conference organized by Hadassah that begins today has seen a sharp rise in the number of participants apparently because of the ongoing war in Israel, with more than half of the 900 people registered signing up after the conflict broke out, the organization told eJewishPhilanthropy’s Esther D. Kustanowitz.

Doubling down: “Our first instinct was to say, let’s take a couple of days and see where everything is,” Hadassah CEO Naomi Adler told eJP. “And then we realized, oh my goodness, we not only have to continue with what we’re doing, but we have to do a strategy that is ‘Absolutely do it and don’t forget the crisis as well’… What I have learned at Hadassah [is that] canceling an event sends the wrong message. We’re a Zionism organization, we should be having as many events as we can, [and] let’s talk about Zionism.” She added: “We have many more registrants than we expected. I mean, it’s extremely popular now.”

Grappling with Zionism: The event, titled “Inspire Zionism: Tech, Trailblazers and Tattoos,” will feature more than 20 speakers (including Melissa Weiss, executive editor of eJewishPhilanthropy’s sister publication Jewish Insider) who come from a wide variety of organizations and backgrounds, though almost all are women. “It’s about younger women grappling with Zionism, their definition [of it], how to talk about it, and of course, we are pivoting to talk about what’s going on in the current situation,” Adler said.


Center for Jewish History to highlight Jews’ role in comics with convention next month

Illustrative. A Jewish man wearing a blue kipa and and having a haircut with Superman sign is seen from the back during the Purim holiday in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood on March 6, 2015.
Illustrative. A Jewish man wearing a blue kipa and and having a haircut with Superman sign is seen from the back during the Purim holiday in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood on March 6, 2015.

One year ago, New York Comic Con, the largest pop culture event on the East Coast, rejected all panel proposals related to the Jewish history and culture of comic books, an industry birthed predominantly from the minds and pens of Jewish creators. This underappreciation for the Jewish contributions to comics, from both the comics community and the Jewish community, is why Miriam Eve Mora, the director of academic and public programs at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan, co-created The Jewish Comic Experience (JewCE), which will be held on Nov. 11-12 at the center, reports Jay Deitcher for eJewishPhilanthropy.

A golden age: “We’re having quite a moment in Jewish comics right now,” Mora told eJewishPhilanthropy. She spearheaded the return of Jewish comic programming to New York Comic Con (NYCC), which ran from Oct. 12-15, with a panel discussing the Jewish experience in comics outside of trauma, which promoted JewCE. (A spokesperson from NYCC told eJP fan demand led to the return of Jewish programming). “There’s so much wonderful stuff,” Mora said.

Reinvesting: While raising money for her nonprofit “would always be a plus,” Mora’s intention is to give back any money made to the creators. “If we ended up with hundreds or thousands more than we spent, it would be wonderful for the center to put it into a scholarship,” she said. “We could create an artist-in-residence program to support someone doing historical research for graphic narratives.”

Read the full report here.


Supporting children’s mental health involves supporting the well-being of parents, too

melitas/Getty Images

“In a recent article for eJP, we shared the strategies we employ to address the pressing mental health needs of students in our religious school program. It is also worthwhile to explore how we can support the well-being of parents, guardians and caregivers — not the least because the mental and emotional health of kids and their adults are closely linked,” write educator Mindy Sherry, Cantor Olivia Brodsky and Rabbi Joshua Stanton of the East End Temple in Manhattan in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.

A lonely road: “For parents who are finding their roles harder or a lot harder than expected, the lack of peer support or opportunities to learn by observing and exchanging strategies with their friends can be painful. It can mean struggling at one of their central purposes in life – and doing so alone. Within this context, one can only imagine how acutely Jewish families are struggling after Hamas’ recent attacks on Israeli civilians and the many heartless responses to Jewish suffering. The upsurge in global antisemitic incidents since Israel’s military response to the attacks have added stress and fear to the day-to-day lives of countless Jewish families — at a time when parents, guardians and caregivers of Jewish children were already struggling. Too many are grieving and suffering alone.”

Opportunities for innovation: “While Jewish communities, and religious communities more broadly, do not have the ability to resolve the ‘epidemic of loneliness,’ parenting challenges or mental health issues within families, we can reduce their painful confluence, focusing first on parental isolation and the need for peer support in order to take steps towards well-being. Likewise, we can provide new opportunities for positive caregiver-child interactions and alleviate the burden of providing a constant stream of activities for children.”

Read the full piece here.?

Worthy Reads

Friends Like Family, Lost: The American Jewish summer camp community — a family unit all its own — is experiencing crashing waves of heartbreak with the news of each former camper and staffer killed since the brutal surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7, Jacob Gurvis reports for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “‘Israelis coming to camp has been a part of the American Jewish camping enterprise since the founding of the state,’ said Sandra Fox, author of The Jews of Summer: Summer Camp and Jewish Culture in Postwar America… While many synagogues and Jewish communities have Israeli emissaries — ‘shlichim’ in Hebrew — through the Jewish Agency for Israel, Fox said the camp experience can be unique because it’s often younger Israelis, some who work at camp before their army service…. ‘The shlichim that come to the communities are usually young families. But a counselor could be pre-army or post-army, and if you’re a preteen or teenage camper, they’re a lot more relatable. So I think that that has a strong impact on the degree of connection they can make.’” [JTA]

Model of Community-Led Tzedakah: In San Mateo, Calif., and across the country, a 50-year-old nonprofit is helping low-income homeowners stay in their longtime communities by dispatching local skilled volunteers to do home repairs, reports The Daily Journal. The volunteers are also sent to spruce up public spaces. “Originally known as Christmas in April, Rebuilding Together started in 1973 in Midland, Texas, where a small group of neighbors noticed a growing need in the community. Homes had fallen into disrepair and their neighbors couldn’t afford to fix them on their own. The group volunteered their time, skills and money to rehabilitate those homes. Half a century later, the spirit to help the community continues to thrive, and the network of Rebuilding Together has since spread nationwide, according to RTP’s website. The organization helps low-income qualified individuals with home repairs. It also helps community facilities in need of repairs, all of which are funded from corporate and private donations and carried out through volunteers…” [DailyJournal]

Word on the Street

The Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan is putting on display 1,400 flowers — representing the number of victims of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks — that were sent to the institution by an anonymous donor…

The Boston Workers Circle voluntarily left the Jewish Community Relations Council of Boston after it took part in a rally with the Jewish Voice for Peace organization, in violation of a ban on partnering with the anti-Zionist group that likely would have resulted in its expulsion from the JCRC…

Dozens of actors and other celebrities, from Adam Sandler to Zoe Saldana, have signed an open letter in solidarity with the more than 220 people being held captive by Hamas in Gaza…

Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres “failed the test” of pledging “never again” following the Holocaust after he was seen as justifying Hamas’ terror attacks by saying yesterday that they “didn’t happen in a vacuum”…

New surveys find a 20-year low in the Israeli public’s trust in government following the Oct. 7 attacks and the coalition’s responses to them…

The Canadian Jewish News interviewed toymaker, philanthropist and Paw Patrol co-creator Ronnen Harary, who has been delivering toys to Israeli children affected by the war, donating to hospitals and providing food to IDF soldiers…

A Jewish American adult film star, Malka Vixel, has pledged to donate her earnings to Israel’s Kibbutz Movement in solidarity with the kibbutzim that bore the brunt of Hamas’ attacks… 

J. The Jewish Weekly of Northern California profiled the volunteering efforts of Israelis in the Bay Area and Bay Area natives currently in Israel…

S&P Global Ratings lowered Israel’s credit outlook from stable to negative in light of its ongoing war with Hamas and potential for wider conflict…

In The Free Press, Eli Lake argues that Qatar, an ally of Hamas, is waging an influence campaign by making major donations to American universities

The Writers Guild of America apologized for not releasing a statement about the Oct. 7 attacks, saying it did not feel comfortable weighing in on international issues but that it was “horrified” by the massacres…

Pic of the Day

Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies students, staff and their families paint a bomb shelter at the Tali Geulim School in Jerusalem
Courtesy/Pardes Institute

Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies students, staff and their families paint a bomb shelter at the Tali Geulim School in Jerusalem this week.

“Pardes’s Beit Midrash programs are continuing with the vast majority of its students remaining in Israel during the war,” the institute said.


Susie Gelman
Courtesy/Goldman Environmental Foundation

Board chair of the Israel Policy Forum until earlier this year and board member of the Goldman Environmental Foundation, Susie Gelman… 

Senior U.S. District Court judge based in Brooklyn, appointed by President Reagan, Judge Edward R. Korman… Chief policy and strategy officer of Oscar Insurance, following stints as a Supreme Court clerk, White House counsel, chancellor of the NYC schools and EVP at News Corporation, Joel Klein… President of Dallas-based SPR Ventures, he serves on the boards of Texas Capital Bancshares and Cinemark, Steven Rosenberg… Acting deputy secretary of state since July, her family name was Nudelman, Victoria Jane Nuland… Television personality and author of 16 books, Bruce Feiler… Voice actress and singer, best known for voicing Asajj Ventress in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” Nika Futterman… Actor, he is currently starring on the CBS show “The Equalizer,” Adam Charles Goldberg… Television screenwriter, showrunner, executive producer and director, best known for running the television medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” Krista Vernoff… Actress, she has appeared as various characters on the FX anthology series “American Horror Story,” Leslie Erin Grossman… State Department official, she is married to Rep. Brad Sherman, Lisa Nicola Kaplan… Physician, author and public speaker on health issues, Dr. Michael Herschel Greger… Sharon Iancu… Rapper and songwriter, known professionally as The Alchemist, Daniel Alan Maman… Director of the Chabad House at Princeton University, Rabbi Eitan Yaakov Webb… Singer and songwriter who competed in the ninth season of “American Idol,” Vered “Didi” Benami… Singer and model, she has released three albums and toured internationally, Hannah Cohen… Program officer at San Francisco’s Koret Foundation, Rachel Elana Schonwetter… Director of community relations at the Baltimore Jewish Council, Josh Sherman… Musician, known professionally by the mononym “Grandson,” Jordan Edward Benjamin… Freelance journalist living in Israel, Cole S. Aronson