While anti-Semitism is not a new phenomenon—the curse has plagued us for centuries—the nature of anti-Semitism has transformed over time. This course examines the various forms of Jew hatred: from anti-Jewish sentiment, to racial and ethnic hatred of the Jews, to hatred of the State of Israel. We will look at how and why these forms of anti-Semitism have emerged, at the historical context and perverse ideas that drive this form of prejudice, and then ask: how should Jews—and all civilized peoples—respond?
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Meet the Instructors
Seminars are taught by Tikvah faculty and experts in the subject matter. Please note that course faculty are subject to change depending on availability.
Dr. Rachel Fish is founding Executive Director of the Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism. Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, established the foundation to catalyze dynamic new solutions to stop the age-old hatred advanced by those who seek the elimination of Judaism and the Jewish people and the modern movement to destroy the world’s only Jewish State. The foundation focuses on positively impacting attitudes of young people around the world, leveraging social media to deliver educational campaigns and spur action by people of all backgrounds.
Fish was most recently Senior Advisor and Resident Scholar of Jewish/Israel Philanthropy at the Paul E. Singer Foundation in New York City. She worked closely with grantees to support them and provided framing around their educational content and programming. She also aided in developing strategy for the Foundation’s Jewish/Israel philanthropy. Fish was also the Executive Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University where she helped train the next generation of academics in the field of Israel Studies. She completed her doctoral degree in the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies department at Brandeis University. Her dissertation, “Configurations of Bi-nationalism: The Transformation of Bi-nationalism in Palestine/Israel 1920s-Present,” examines the history of the idea of bi-nationalism and alternative visions for constructing the State of Israel.
She has taught at Brandeis University, Harvard University, UMASS Amherst and in adult Jewish education programs. In 2019 Fish taught in the Maimonides Scholars Program. In 2015 Fish held the Rohr Visiting Professorship at Harvard University, where she lectured on modern Israel and received the Derek Bok Certificate of Teaching Excellence. She is co-editor, with Ilan Troen, of the book Essential Israel: Essays for the Twenty-First Century.
Melanie Goldberg Silver is an attorney currently clerking for the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department. She volunteers her free time for the Jewish community in helping formulate the connection between antisemitism and the BDS movement, and has presented this work before the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Antisemitism. She has also been working with the Brandeis Center since 2013, first as their client, then as a law student advocate, and now as an attorney advisor, and is completing a legal piece entitled, “The Scarlet Letters: ‘Made in Israel’: How the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement against Israel Violates U.S. Antitrust Law,” which reflects this work as well. For this work and her other activism, she was recognized as one of the Jewish Week’s “36 under 36” in 2015.
Additionally, her work in the private sector has primarily focused on counterterrorism finance law, on which she has published with the National Security Law Journal of George Mason University Law School (Spring 2019), and the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University (July 2018). She received her JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2017, where she was recognized as a merit and public service scholar.
Jonathan Neumann is a bestselling author and leading activist against antisemitism in the UK. He was the first to bring legal challenges against local municipalities for passing pro-BDS motions in the UK and he now works with the leading body fighting antisemitic crime and antisemitism in British society and politics, including in the Labour Party. His book, To Heal The World?, explored the intersection of politics and theology in American Jewish life, and he has lectured on Judaism, politics, and antisemitism to international audiences and taught at all ages. An alumnus of Tikvah’s first Fellowship and a former Tikvah Fellow at Commentary, he served as an editor at Jewish Ideas Daily (now Mosaic). His work has appeared in newspapers and periodicals in America, Britain, and Israel. He has degrees in History and Politics from the University of Cambridge and International Political Economy from the London School of Economics, and studied at the University of Law. He is a qualified attorney.