Contact B'nai B'rith

1120 20th Street NW, Suite 300N Washington, D.C. 20036


B’nai B’rith President Seth J. Riklin and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:

We welcome the passing of the Antisemitism Awareness Act by the U.S. House of Representatives on May 1 with a decisive 320-91 vote in favor of the measure.

This vital bipartisan bill, led by representatives Mike Lawler (R-N.Y) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J), mandates that the Department of Education adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism as a tool to determine when anti-Semitism has taken place at educational institutions.

The passing of this bill is crucial amid recent unrest and overt anti-Semitism during protests on college campuses throughout the United States. This definition characterizes anti-Semitism as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews,” encompassing both “rhetorical and physical manifestations.” These manifestations include calling for the killing or harming of Jews or holding Jews collectively responsible for actions taken by Israel.

Since Hamas’ vicious terror attack on Israel on Oct. 7, anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses have risen by 700 percent, leaving Jewish students fearful for their safety. By clarifying the definition of anti-Semitism, the bill makes it easier for students to file civil rights complaints in cases of discrimination and upholds that colleges could face consequences for failing to protect Jewish students.

B’nai B’rith encouraged its members and supporters to send letters to Congress advocating for the passage of the bill. We continue to call on policymakers to combat anti-Semitism and prioritize the safety of Jews, whether on college campuses or elsewhere.

As tensions continue to escalate on college campuses, legislation safeguarding students from discrimination and anti-Semitism is paramount to ensure a safer and more inclusive learning environment.

We urge the Senate to expeditiously adopt the legislation.