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Survey indicating rampant workplace antisemitism leads to push for further discussion and action

The American Jewish Committee says that if the survey’s methodology is sound, it will reach out to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.

American Jewish Committee CEO Ted Deutch. Credit: AJC.
American Jewish Committee CEO Ted Deutch. Credit: AJC.

Following a survey showing rampant antisemitism among hiring managers, the American Jewish Committee is considering alerting the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.

A quarter of hiring managers say they are less likely to move forward with Jewish applicants, according to a survey conducted by a San Francisco-based employment resource firm.

In light of recent high-profile cases of antisemitism in the United States, ResumeBuilder polled 1,131 recruiters. Twenty-three percent said they wanted fewer Jews in their industry, while 17% added that managers have told them to avoid hiring Jews.

“The rampant antisemitism by hiring managers revealed in the survey, if accurate, is not only alarming but also blatantly illegal under federal law,” said AJC CEO Ted Deutch. “Employers may not discriminate on the basis of race or religion. That so many hiring managers reportedly admitted they would willingly violate the civil rights of Jewish job candidates, regardless of their qualifications, is disturbing. Anti-Jewish discrimination has no place in the workplace or anywhere else.”

The AJC says it has sent a letter to ResumeBuilder seeking clarification about the survey’s design, content and methodology, and is awaiting a response to determine whether to move forward with contacting the EEOC.

“If ResumeBuilder’s survey is accurate, these findings lead to a number of serious issues that aren’t just troubling, but point to illegal hiring practices that have far-reaching implications for the Jewish community and the American workplace,” wrote Deutch.

Stacie Haller, ResumeBuilder career counselor, job search coach and executive recruiter, told JNS that while the poll is not a scientific survey, the results warrant further research and discussion.

“I was as horrified as most people were about the blatant acceptance of this [workplace antisemitism] and the willingness to admit that this is pervasive. What struck me is they said the quiet part out loud,” Haller told JNS. “Even though this is not a scientific survey, if you do look under some of the numbers here, it is skewed to a younger part of the workforce. And they are so easily able to say that antisemitism is alive and active in their organizations.”

Haller said the survey didn’t produce data on which sectors of the workforce are most susceptible to antisemitic hiring practices, but that “there are a lot of unanswered questions in this survey, that we are definitely hoping people will pick up on and shine more of a light on as to what is actually happening here.”

Beyond the media attention the survey has drawn, Haller said she’s been particularly struck by the reaction within the Jewish community.

“I have had many people reach out to me, privately horrified. And what was interesting to me is that although it was posted on LinkedIn, so many of the people who saw my postings did not post that on LinkedIn, but sent me a private message,” Haller said. “And I had people reach out to me who were not Jewish to say that ‘I guess we have to go back to the old days and not use our last names on resumes.’ Somebody actually wrote that to me who was not Jewish.”

While ResumeBuilder is not a Jewish-owned business, Haller is Jewish. She said the recent, dramatic rise of antisemitism and its seeming acceptance makes a discussion about workplace antisemitism even more timely and urgent.

“When we talk about discrimination in the workplace and in the hiring process, typically it’s about race, gender, and I write a lot about ageism—that is all real in the hiring process. But nobody talks about antisemitism.”

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