5 Resources for Fighting Antisemitism This Purim

It’s spreading on campuses, in the streets, and online. Antisemitism has risen to an alarming level. In fact, the Anti-Defamation League reported: “Between Oct. 7 and Dec. 7, ADL recorded a total of 2,031 antisemitic incidents, up from 465 incidents during the same period in 2022, representing a 337-percent increase year-over-year.”1 At this point, each of us has either experienced antisemitism personally or know someone who has. 

This Purim, as we read the Megillah and boo at the mention of Haman, we’re reminded that this is an ancient hatred—one we’ve faced in every generation. We’ve learned a lot since the fourth century BCE, but clearly not enough; antisemitism continues to show up today. 

In order to stand up against this ancient, insidious hatred, we need to equip ourselves. In The Dignity of Difference, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks says that prioritizing an educational infrastructure is “at the heart of the Jewish ability to survive catastrophe, negotiate change and flourish in difficult circumstances.” Continual learning—from history, from one another, and from God—is a Jewish survival mechanism. 

Purim is a great time to lean into our education and personal growth in our ongoing fight against antisemitism. To continue learning together as a community, I’ve compiled a list of my top five resources to be able to speak up (and actually know what you’re talking about).  

1. We Need to Talk About Antisemitism by Rabbi Diana Fersko 

Diana Fersko is the rabbi at the Village Temple in New York City. When she realized that her congregants were personally experiencing increased antisemitism but struggled to talk about it, she wanted to help. She wrote We Need to Talk About Antisemitism for Jewish people like those in her community: people who value diversity and justice, but don’t feel like they are on the receiving end of social activism efforts. She approaches tricky topics such as the Holocaust, Israel, and Christianity, contending that we need to have these conversations in order to effectively combat antisemitism.  

2. Jews Don’t Count by David Baddiel 

David Baddiel is a British comedian, writing from an English context that is different from my American one. His basic contention is that people committed to liberal ideals like diversity, anti-racism, and equality are uncomfortable extending the same support to Jews that they extend to other marginalized groups. Many don’t recognize antisemitism as a form of racism, or one that is as egregious as other prejudices. Some even say that to care about antisemitism is a way of distracting from “real issues.” He argues that Jews should be seen among other marginalized groups, and that the failure of liberals to champion the cause needs to be called out. I like that he takes this type of thinking to task, but his snarky, blunt delivery makes this a book best read by yourself—not one to hand off to a Gentile friend. 

3. Throughline: “A History of Hamas” 

This NPR podcast2 gives an introduction to the history of Hamas—the terrorist organization responsible for perpetrating the genocidal attacks on October 7, 2023, provoking Israel’s most recent war. Hamas opposes Israel’s existence and seeks to establish a Palestinian state under Islamic law “from the river to the sea” (i.e., eradicate Jews and overtake all of the land of Israel). Hamas was explicitly founded on antisemitic ideas incorporating the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion into their founding charter. Though the purpose of the podcast is to provide context to the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict and recent events, I find it a good case study into the tragic consequences of cultivating the germination of antisemitism, and the necessity of confronting it before it inspires violence. 

4. People Love Dead Jews by Dara Horn 

The title of this book alone makes the reader shift in their seat. Dara Horn is a gifted Jewish novelist and essayist and uses her wit to unfold an insight that occurred to her one day: people are much more interested in hearing about dead Jews than living Jews. Weaving together her research, travels, and personal experiences, she unpacks why people celebrate past figures like Anne Frank but are uncomfortable celebrating the Orthodox Jews leading traditional lives in Brooklyn or the secular Jews living life in Israel. I’m not sure that I’m totally convinced by Horn’s argument, but this book raises good questions about why so many people are uncomfortable with Jews just being Jews. Tablet magazine also produced a companion podcast hosted by Dara Horn, which I haven’t listened to yet.3 

5. The Book of Esther 

Although contemporary accounts of antisemitism are crucial to understand hatred of Jews today, the Bible itself is a crucial source to understand antisemitism and how to respond to it. The book of Esther tells the story of Jewish people in exile living as a despised and vulnerable minority. Haman’s charge against the Jews can stand as a summary of many people’s attitudes about the Jews. 

There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every other people, and they do not keep the king’s laws, so that it is not to the king’s profit to tolerate them. If it please the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed. (Esther 3:8–9) 

It’s a story we’ve read many times before, but reading it in light of current events makes it familiar in a new way. Mordecai and Esther find themselves in the position of having to take a stand against genocidal hatred. The book of Esther doesn’t give a step-by-step approach to confronting antisemitism, but it’s certainly an opportunity to reflect on the question of what we should do today, during “such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).  

Further Reading 

Learning more about our history, about antisemitism, and about the implications of both in our modern lives is a lifelong journey. Though we can’t possibly know all there is to know, it’s important for us to always be seeking truth and greater awareness.  

Next on my book and resource list:   

  • Antisemitism: Here and Now by Deborah Lipstadt. Since Deborah Lipstadt is one of the leading scholars on antisemitism and leader in advocacy against antisemitism, this is a must read.  
  • Israel: A Simple Guide to Understanding the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth by Noa Tishby. Antisemitism is often expressed around the existence of Israel and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This is a new book defending Zionism and the Jewish state that is also self-critical and envisions the possibility of peace via a two-state solution.  
  • The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine by Rashid Khalili. I’ve been told by a scholar of the conflict that this is the best source for understanding the Palestinian narrative. Again, since antisemitism is so intertwined with the Arab-Israeli conflict, this book seems like a necessary read. 

Have you checked out any of my recommendations before? What are you reading, watching, or listening to? Send your own recommendations to inherit@inheritmag.com.


  1. ADL Reports Unprecedented Rise in Antisemitic Incidents Post-Oct. 7,” Anti-Defamation League, December 11, 2023.
  2. A History of Hamas,Throughline, NPR, November 16, 2023.
  3. Dara Horn, “Adventures with Dead Jews,” Tablet Magazine, accessed December 12, 2023.