The Newest Forms of
the Oldest Hatred:
Understanding Contemporary Antisemitism

dictionary entry of antisemitism

The Newest Forms of
the Oldest Hatred:
Understanding Contemporary Antisemitism

Program: Hebrew College Me’ah Select
Instructor: Dr. Jacob Meskin (Read Bio)
Dates: 6 Tuesdays -1/23, 1/30, 2/6, 2/13, 2/20 & 2/27
Time: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Course fee: $270, financial aid is available
Location: Zoom
Hosted by: Kerem Shalom, Concord

A number of dangerous forms of antisemitism are poisoning our world. Where did they come from? How did they arise? And based on that, what can we do to counter them?

In this course we will first explore the ancient and medieval historical contexts of Christian and Islamic anti-Judaism, out of which modern forms of antisemitism have arisen. We will then turn to the nineteenth century, which saw decisive reinterpretations of these earlier materials in both Christian and Islamic theological circles.

We will however spend the bulk of our time analyzing precisely how subsequent movements in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries helped to spawn the notorious and vicious manifestations of antisemitism we encounter today. A short list of these manifestations would include various forms of contemporary Islamic antisemitism; total denial of legitimacy to Zionism and thus of the right of Jews to have a majority nation state of their own; radical right-wing and radical left-wing hatred of Jews and Judaism; different forms of online antisemitism, and the horrifying absolute enshrinement of antisemitism as dogmatic truth among academics and on college campuses, particularly though not exclusively in America.

We will conclude by studying groups who are, happily, opposed to these terrible and dangerous slanders, and by pondering some proposed strategies for responding to them.