To Love Our Jewish Neighbors Better, We Need to Know Them Better | Sojourners

To Love Our Jewish Neighbors Better, We Need to Know Them Better

Why do Christians perpetuate negative stereotypes of Jewish religious life?
Illustration of a star of David with a heart-shaped cutout on the inside
Illustration by Michael George Haddad

ACTS OF ANTISEMITISM in the U.S. are skyrocketing. In October 2021, the American Jewish Committee released data from the largest-ever survey of Jews in the U.S. showing that during the previous 12 months, 1 in 4 Jews experienced antisemitism and 39 percent altered their behavior—such as avoiding wearing items that would identify them as Jewish—out of fear of antisemitism.

In less than four years, the U.S. has seen at least three violent antisemitic attacks on Jewish houses of worship. Eleven people were killed in 2018 at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh as a gunman screamed antisemitic slurs. Six months later, a man “inspired” by the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue attacked a synagogue near San Diego. This January, an armed man spouting antisemitic conspiracy theories took hostages during the Shabbat service at Congregation Beth Israel near Dallas.

While many Christians take note of this disturbing trend with dismay, most haven’t learned how Christianity has been weaponized against Jewish people.

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