California Releases Landmark Antisemitism Plan

On April 5, 2024, California Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a sweeping plan to combat soaring antisemitism in the state. Dubbed “The Golden State Plan to Counter Antisemitism,” the plan is the result of a five-month collaborative effort between the governor’s office, the Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC) and California’s Legislative Jewish Caucus, led by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel and Senator Scott Wiener.

Antisemitism plan

“This plan is essential to combat the rising hate our community is experiencing,” Wiener said. “In recent months, we have seen a wave of hate against our community that many thought we would never again see in our lifetime. It has put our community on edge in a way that few can appreciate if they have not experienced it themselves.... Jews have been a vital part of California since its founding, and we will continue to be; this plan acknowledges that the state must protect vulnerable communities.”

“The Golden State Plan will help us reverse the normalization of rising antisemitism and… make California a safer place for all.” 

The plan, which is part of California’s Anti-Hate agenda—encompassing all forms of bigotry, including Islamophobia and anti-Asian hate—takes a comprehensive four-pronged approach to the spread of antisemitism. The strategies are:

Supporting and protecting Jewish communities—addressing the climate of bias, harassment and violence on university campuses; doubling security grant funding to $40 million for synagogues, schools and other community centers; and fostering support for the State of Israel.

Addressing and preventing antisemitism and all hate and violence—strengthening steps in law enforcement like investing in programs to combat hate crime, including CA vs Hate, the statewide hotline to report hate acts; stiffening the penalties for hate symbols while investing $150 million to support hate crime survivors; instituting community training programs to raise awareness of civil rights protections against hate and discrimination, and promoting interfaith collaboration.

Uplifting Jewish heritage and building mutual understanding—recognizing and respecting people of Jewish identity through diversity in K-12 educational materials and marking this May’s Jewish American Heritage Month through a variety of events designed to increase awareness and visibility of California’s Jewish community.

Advancing equity and countering discrimination—an executive order directing the state’s Civil Rights Department to speed up actions that will protect communities against hate-based violence and discrimination of all kinds. According to the plan, state agencies must “embed equity analysis and considerations in their mission, policy, practices, and all budget change proposals.”

David Bocarsly, executive director of JPAC, said, “Our community has experienced an onslaught of harassment and violence since October 7th—in schools, on campuses, online, and in the public square—that far surpasses the record levels of anti-Jewish hate already tormenting so many of us. With so much of Jewish communal life in California at stake, the Golden State Plan will help us reverse the normalization of rising antisemitism and… make California a safer place for all.” 

STAND welcomes and applauds every initiative seeking to effectively address anti-religious hate. An attack on one religion is an attack on them all.