In the past few weeks leading up to the Holocaust Remembrance Day, a total of ten US States formally advanced a proclamation or executive orders acknowledging International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and officially recognizing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism.
The proclamations are a result of a joint advocacy effort by Christians United for Israel (CUFI), Jewish Federations of North American (JFNA), the American Jewish Committee, and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations- who joined forces to ensure that leaders are taking the need to acknowledge the IHRA definition seriously.
The states which have issued the above proclamations include Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Nevada. Virginia plans on issuing an executive order in recent weeks.
“We encourage the use of the IHRA definition in educational and training programs on issues relating to discrimination and anti-bias compliance. In order to effectively combat anti-Semitism, it is imperative to adopt the consensus definition of anti-Semitism—the IHRA definition—following the lead of over 30 countries, and more than 1,000 organizations and universities across the world,” said Conference CEO William Daroff.
Adam Teitelbaum, executive director of the JFNA’s Israel Action Network, said that promoting the IHRA definition is a top public-policy priority for the organization. “The alarming rise of anti-Semitism requires multiple tools to ensure Jews feel safe and secure and having a unified definition helps make that possible,” he said. “It is especially meaningful to see so many states take action on the 77th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a day when the world is memorializing the horrors of the Holocaust.”