Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the town board unanimously approved a resolution adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s working definition of antisemitism at the Feb. 24 board meeting. The definition is now part of the town’s policy and is in keeping with the town’s “Not In Our Town” initiative which combats hate and intolerance.
“By adopting this antisemitism definition, we have further emphasized that North Hempstead is a place of unity and inclusiveness for all,” Bosworth said. “The town is committed in the fight against intolerance and hate, and we stand together with the community to send this powerful message.”
The approved resolution adopted the internationally recognized working definition of antisemitism, which has become the authoritative definition for use by governments and international organizations. It includes a clear and definitive message for the public by identifying acts that constitute antisemitism. The resolution provides examples of rhetorical and physical hatred towards Jewish or non-Jewish individuals, property, institutions and religious facilities. The American Jewish Committee Long Island provided the town with guidance in drafting the resolution.
“The Long Island Region of American Jewish Committee thanks Supervisor Bosworth and the Town of North Hempstead Board for adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism. Defining antisemitism is the first step to combating it and we are most appreciative that the Town of North Hempstead has taken this proactive step. The Working Definition can serve as an educational tool in schools and be used for training town staff and officials. In an environment where 48 percent of Americans don’t know what the term antisemitism means and hate crimes continue to rise, there is a great deal of education that needs to be done. The Working Definition has been employed by 28 foreign governments, many multilateral bodies, and successive American presidents, including President Joe Biden. The Town of North Hemp-stead joins the Town of Hempstead, Town of Oyster Bay, and City of Glen Cove in creating greater momentum for all municipalities on Long Island to adopt the definition,” Eric Post, Regional Director for American Jewish Committee (AJC), Long Island, said.
“As a longtime resident of North Hempstead and now a member of the Long Island Board of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), I am extremely pleased and appreciative of the action of Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the members of the town vouncil to officially adopt the IHRA def-inition of antisemitism. Although we are fortunate that our town has taken a strong stand against antisemitism and all forms of hate and intolerance, and that we’ve experienced relatively few incidents, the rising trend around the United States and the world is very troubling. Adoption of a uniform and clear definition of antisemitism by so many national and local governments worldwide will help officials and the public more easily identify and understand antisemitic acts and words and to take action when necessary. Thank you, North Hempstead.” Steve Markowitz, Board Member of AJC, Long Island, said.
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) adopted the working definition antisemitism in 2016 in response to a rise in antisemitism in Europe. The working definition serves as a clear and compact description of antisemitism in all forms.
—Submitted by the Town of North Hempstead