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Words to Action

  • September 25, 2013

Words to Action: Empowering Students and Community to Address Anti-Semitism

Words to Action: Empowering Students and Community to Address Anti-Semitism is an interactive education program for pre-college and college students as well as community participants designed to empower and equip them with constructive and effective responses to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias, including:

  • Anti-Israel incidents
  • Prejudiced comments
  • Hate speech/free speech
  • Bias in the classroom and community
  • Anti-Semitic vandalism
  • Holocaust denial


The program is based on ADL’s Confronting Anti-Semitism, created in the 1980s when middle and high school youth were regularly experiencing anti-Semitic comments, taunts, harassment and graffiti in the halls and classrooms of their schools and in their neighborhoods and communities. Rather than standing up to this prejudice, many remained silent, both in the face of oppression and later, when they returned to their homes and families.


Today, as this type of anti-Semitism continues, many college students face a form of anti-Semitism fueled by anti-Israel sentiment. On many college campuses, bias against the State of Israel has become increasingly common. High profile academics, charismatic speakers, and influential student leaders have presented the Israeli-Palestinian situation in a one-sided manner, blaming the conflict solely on Israel and largely ignoring Palestinian terrorism and violence. While the State of Israel is subject to critique just like any other government in the world, the criticisms against Israel often take a much harsher tone. Sometimes, this blatantly anti-Israel rhetoric even crosses the line into anti-Semitism.  Community members are grappling, too, with challenges in workplaces and community spaces. Words to Action helps address the changing face of anti-Semitism by:

  • Increasing understanding and awareness of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias in their lives
  • Countering anti-Semitic stereotypes and anti-Israel myths with accurate information
  • Providing skills to respond effectively and appropriately to the variety of ways anti- Semitism manifests itself, from insensitive or biased comments to hate-motivated incidents

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