About Psychologists Against Antisemitism
Antisemitism is prejudice against or hatred of Jews. Jews are the single most targeted religious minority in America (FBI, 2021) despite representing only 2.4% of the US population (Pew, 2021). According to the ADL (2023) which tracks incidents of antisemitic harassment, vandalism and assault, there has been a 36% increase in antisemitic incidents in 2022 compared to 2021. This is the highest number on record since ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979 (ADL, 2023). Over 85% of Americans believe at least one antisemitic trope, and 20% of Americans believe six or more antisemitic tropes (ADL, 2023). Reports from the European Union (2013, 2018, 2021) show increasing personal experiences of antisemitism in the form of threats and harassment. Worldwide, antisemitism is often conjoined with anti-Israel and anti-Zionist campaigning and is on the rise as Jewish community centers, kosher restaurants, Jewish owned business, and individual Jews are targeted.
Psychologists and Antisemitism
As a psychologists we are concerned about the effects of this violence and hate on the education and training of students, the execution of empirically informed research, and ethical clinical practice.
The legacy of antisemitism and violence and resultant trauma must be addressed in order to engage in sound education and training, research, and practice. This includes understanding and combatting unfounded blame projected onto Jews for societal ills, lies and distortions about Jews including by those who do so in the name of social justice; and the resounding silence around Jew hatred.
Jewish students and professors should not have to feel marginalized or silenced for their identity. And Jewish clients/patients are entitled to culturally informed and responsive care.
The Mission of Psychologists Against Antisemitism (PAAS) is:
To address and combat antisemitism within the field of psychology and related fields.
To foster training and education that increases sensitivity and responsiveness to antisemitism and its effects on individuals, families, and communities.
To foster Jewish affirming research, education, clinical practice, and organizations.
PAAS aims to raise awareness of the prevalence of antisemitism and its impact on the psychological and physical well-being of individuals, groups, and communities. PAAS also aims to create inclusive, affirming, safe spaces for Jewish people and allies. Through education, webinars, curriculum, consultation, and program development, PAAS strives to counter misinformation and disinformation and equip professionals with the knowledge and skills to work ethically and effectively. PAAS is committed to eradicating antisemitism and promoting spaces where all individuals can thrive.
Psychology is uniquely suited to address and combat antisemitism through its focus on understanding multi-level processes; intrapersonal, relational, and collective, that perpetuate antisemitism; research and evidence based approaches; and identification of the presence and impact of antisemitism on individuals, groups, and communities. Through culturally informed and diverse research methodologies, we aim to become a leading voice in combating antisemitism—both within the field of psychology and within society at large by conducting groundbreaking research, developing innovative programming, and collaborating with professionals and organizations worldwide dedicated to the safety and empowerment of those impacted by antisemitism.