As antisemitism continues to rise following the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel, the next generation in the United States are facing a new landscape of hate – whether that be on the streets, in their places of worship, in school classrooms or on college campuses.

That’s why the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), in collaboration with Jewish organizations, hosted a symposium for Jewish high school students and their parents to address the antisemitism they currently face and will encounter as they prepare to enter the collegiate halls of higher education and the larger world as adults.

Hosted on April 7 at Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, the afternoon symposium included expert-led panels and workshops.

“At a time when antisemitism is skyrocketing, hosting the Teen Symposium on Antisemitism is crucial,” said JCRC Director Jason Holtzman. “The Symposium prepares the next generation of teen leaders with the history and advocacy skills to effectively counter and oppose antisemitism, ensuring a future where hatred and discrimination have no place.”

Sessions included a history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, understanding antisemitism and anti-Israel bias, and challenges and tips for Jewish students on college campuses.

In addition to the Jewish Federation’s JCRC, organizers of the symposium included the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Philadelphia, Israeli American Council, Jewish Learning Venture, Kaiserman JCC, StandWithUS, and Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History. Supporters of the symposium included American Jewish Committee, BBYO Liberty Region, Camp Ramah in the Poconos, Drexel Hillel, Folkshul: Philadelphia’s Secular Humanistic Jewish Community, Greater Philly Hillel Network, Habonim Dror Camp Galil, Har Zion Temple, Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, Kesher Israel Congregation, Philadelphia Zionist Organization of America, Society Hill Synagogue, Temple Beth Hillel – Beth El, and USY.

This symposium was born out of a cross-agency K-12 task force formed by the Jewish Federation in response to Oct. 7. The group’s mission is to ensure institutions are well-equipped to navigate Israel’s complex issues, focusing on honest and respectful dialogue, promoting cultural diversity, and dispelling myths about Israel. Task force participation includes representatives from Jewish Learning Venture, ADL, StandWithUs, Kaiserman JCC, Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, Perelman Jewish Day School, and ZOA.

Parents participated in an interactive workshop as an opportunity to talk in an open, supportive discussion about the issues they are currently facing.

Walter Myrick, ADL facilitator, led teens in a workshop on self-advocacy.

Regional Director for ADL Philadelphia Andrew Goretsky presented on the history of antisemitism, how it manifests today and how to tell when criticism of Israel crosses the line into Jew hatred.

Teen participants had the opportunity to learn from current college students, Hillel leaders and experts in academia as they discussed current challenges facing Jewish students on campus and tips for success.

Dimas Guaico, an expert from Stand With Us, discussed the history of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict so participants can feel fully prepared to discuss the issues with their peers.

Thank you to Delaware Valley Journal for covering the symposium. To see DVJ’s article, click here.


If you have experienced, witnessed or know of antisemitism, report it at jewishphilly.org/report.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is composed of civic-minded individuals and local Jewish agencies involved in advocacy and public affairs, who engage in issues that are important to the Jewish community. To learn more, visit jewishphilly.org/jcrc.

Since 1901, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia has served as the hub of the region’s Jewish communities, providing an infrastructure of support for Jewish people and organizations in need. Through grants, emergency funding, restricted gifts, endowments, and our partnership with the Foundation for Jewish Day Schools, we invest more than $61 million each fiscal year to care for those in need, combat antisemitism and global crisis, and strengthen Jewish identity.

For more information, please visit: jewishphilly.org.  

For press inquiries, email phillyfed@redbanyan.com.