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White House anti-bias working group meets on antisemitism

Public servants from across the federal government assemble to fight Jew-hatred.

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff serves as keynote speaker during the lighting of the National Menorah near the South Lawn of the White House, Nov. 28, 2021. Photo by Dmitriy Shapiro.
Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff serves as keynote speaker during the lighting of the National Menorah near the South Lawn of the White House, Nov. 28, 2021. Photo by Dmitriy Shapiro.

Officials from dozens of federal agencies and White House offices met Monday to discuss efforts to counter antisemitism.

The meeting was part of the Interagency Group to Counter Antisemitism, Islamophobia and Related Forms of Discrimination and Bias.

Attorney Douglas Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, convened the meeting with Susan Rice and Liz Sherwood-Randall, advisers to the White House on domestic policy and homeland security, respectively. 

Emhoff shared his findings from a recent trip to Poland and Germany, where he participated in Holocaust remembrance events and attended an international meeting on combating antisemitism.

The working group is also holding “listening sessions with external stakeholders and experts to help inform the national strategy to counter antisemitism,” according to the White House.

“The goal is to hear directly from a wide range of stakeholders, including the Jewish community, civil rights and faith leaders, civil society, the private sector and others on how to counter antisemitism as a threat both to the Jewish community and all Americans,” it said.

Attendees came from a cross-section of the federal government, including the White House’s legislative affairs and management and budget offices, the FBI, the National Counterterrorism Center, the Departments of Homeland Security and Education and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The interagency group was founded in response to record antisemitism nationwide, as reflected in the Anti-Defamation League’s tracking. “Incident data shows that we are experiencing a crisis of rising antisemitism unlike any we have seen in more than 40 years,” the ADL stated.

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