Legislation Introduced To Define Antisemitism In New Jersey, Create Awareness Campaign

In light of recent events, Senator Jim Beach introduced legislation to establish a state definition of anti-Semitism and create a public awareness campaign to encourage reporting of bias-related crimes.

The Senator also authored a resolution, SJR-131, condemning hate in all forms and especially all hate and bias-related crimes.

“It has been extremely disturbing to see the increase in hate crimes across the country in recent months, especially as anti-Semitic incidents were already on the rise,” said Senator Beach (D-Camden/Burlington). “We have vibrant and diverse communities all over the state and it is heartbreaking to think residents feel unsafe practicing their religion within their own community. It is absolutely unacceptable that New Jersey ranked third in the nation in anti-Semitic incidents last year. It is my hope that this legislation will increase reporting and help the state better address these incidents.

The bill, S-4226, would establish a state definition of anti-Semitism in line with the definition adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in 2016, including the “contemporary examples of antisemitism”.

The bill would also appropriate $100,000 to the Office of the Attorney General for the creation of a public awareness campaign to promote bias crime reporting. Through extensive community outreach, the campaign will aim to empower residents to identify and report bias crimes using the existing bias crime reporting hotline within the New Jersey Bias Crimes Reporting Unit.

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