US/World News

Mass. lawmakers approve resolution condemning antisemitism

BOSTON (JTA) – Massachusetts lawmakers in a joint legislative session approved a resolution condemning antisemitism and calling for expanded anti-bias and Holocaust education.

The resolution approved Monday, March 9, is expected to be signed later this week by the House speaker, Robert DeLeo, and the Senate president, Stan Rosenberg. As a joint resolution, it does not require the signature of Gov. Charlie Baker. The measure was sponsored by state Sen. Cynthia Stone Creem and state Rep. Lori Ehrlich, who are both Jewish.

The Anti-Defamation League of New England had initiated discussion about a resolution out of concern about rising global antisemitic violence and the impact it was having in Massachusetts, according to Robert Trestan, regional director of ADL New England. He believes Massachusetts is the first state legislature to approve such a measure. He said the regional ADL has seen a rise in the number of reported incidents of antisemitism beginning with last summer’s conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and since the murders in Europe. There’s also a concern about security for Jewish institutions, Trestan said, noting that Jewish groups have been specifically targeted. Increasing education about antisemitism and bigotry and hate should be a priority for all schools, he said.

A similar resolution that decries antisemitism and all forms of faith-based violence is under consideration in New Jersey. The U.S. Senate is considering a bill condemning antisemitism that calls on American and European leaders to take specific actions.

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