Antisemitism and Allyship: Assessing the Present, Imagining the Future

The Jewish Theological Seminary will host a two-day convening featuring a diverse group of experts.

April 3, 2024 — New York, NY  The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), one of the world’s preeminent centers of Jewish higher education, is hosting a two-day convening focused on “Antisemitism and Allyship” on Monday, April 8, and Tuesday, April 9.

This timely event provides an opportunity for meaningful exploration, dialogue, and collaboration, bringing together experts and participants from diverse backgrounds to explore the multifaceted history and present-day dynamics of antisemitism and effective strategies for combating hatred and discrimination. Attendees will engage with experts in the field, learn from diverse perspectives, and participate in constructive conversations aimed at promoting understanding and allyship.

“As the global conversation surrounding antisemitism continues to evolve, JTS is proud to be hosting this two-day convening to more deeply explore the history and breadth of this pressing issue, with an eye toward fostering education and allyship within our community to address today’s challenges,” said Dr. Shuly Rubin Schwartz, Chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary.

“We believe that fostering allyship and solidarity is essential in the fight against antisemitism,” said Rabbi Gordon Tucker, JTS vice chancellor for Religious Life and Engagement..“By bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, we hope to raise awareness about the prevalence of antisemitism and to inspire concrete actions toward building a more inclusive and compassionate society.”

Panels will cover a range of topics, including historical perspectives on antisemitism, the importance of interreligious dialogue, and the charged atmosphere on American college campuses. Guest speakers include religious leaders such as Rabbi Yonah Hain (Columbia/Barnard Hillel), Rev. Dr. Dennis McManus (St. Patrick’s Seminary and University), and Dr. Hussein Rashid (Harvard University); scholars such as Dr. Avinoam Patt (NYU) and Dr. Marat Grinberg (Reed College); and artists Mikhl Yashinsky (Yiddish playwright) and Gzegorz Kwiatkowski (Polish poet). Ted Deutch (AJC CEO and former congressman) will provide a keynote address.

Chancellor Schwartz will serve on two panels. On April 8, she, Dr. Mary Boys (Skinner & McAlpin Professor of Practical Theology at Union Theological Seminary), and Dr. Mehnaz Afridi (professor of Religious Studies and director of the Holocaust, Genocide & Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College) will discuss the “Religious Roots of Antisemitism.” Chancelllor Schwartz will then return on April 9 to talk about “The Impact of Antisemitism on American Jews” with Dr. Pamela Nadell, the Patrick Clenenden Chair in Women’s and Gender History and the director of Jewish Studies at American University. 

JTS faculty members will serve on panels and provide their expertise on a range of topics. Dr. Benjamin Gampel (JTS Dina and Eli Field Family Chair in Jewish History) and Dr. David Fishman (professor of Jewish History) will speak on the “Case Studies in the History of Antisemitism” panel. Dr. Burt Visotzky (Nathan and Janet Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies, emeritus) will moderate and Rabbi Stephanie Ruskay, associate dean of The Rabbinical School of JTS, will participate in the panel “Allyship Is a Two-Way Street.” Dr. Amy Kalmanofsky (dean of List College and Kekst Graduate School and Blanche and Romie Shapiro Professor of Bible) will moderate the “Examining American Campuses” discussion. 

The conference is open to the public, and individuals from all backgrounds are encouraged to attend. For the full schedule and to register, please visit