How Do We Define Anti-Jewish Discrimination? The Puzzle of Antisemitism

Sep 10

12:15 pm - 1:30 pm

Zoom Webinar

Part of How the Law Treats Hate: Antisemitism and Anti-Discrimination Reconsidered, a conference presented in partnership with the UVA Jewish Studies Program and the UVA Karsh Center for Law and Democracy

Combatting hatred begins with defining it. Yet a uniform legal definition of antisemitism has proven elusive even as governments today increasingly seek to do so. The result has been a dramatic rise in controversial new laws and quasi-legal international standards. In this session, Deborah Hellman and David Myers reflect on the philosophical and historical challenges to any legal definition of antisemitism. James Loeffler, Jay Berkowitz Professor of Jewish History at the University of Virginia provides opening remarks.

(Above: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)


Deborah Hellman, University of Virginia School of Law

Deborah Hellman is David Lurton Massee, Jr., Professor of Law and Roy L. and Rosamond Woodruff Morgan Professor of Law at the University of Virginia Law School. She specializes in the study of equal protection law and its philosophical justification. She is the author of When is Discrimination Wrong? (2008) and co-editor of The Philosophical Foundations of Discrimination Law (2013).


David N. Myers, University of California, Los Angeles

David N. Myers is the Sady and Ludwig Kahn Professor of Jewish History at UCLA, where he serves as the director of the UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy. He is the author or editor of fifteen books in the field of Jewish history, including a forthcoming book with Nomi Stolzenberg on the Satmar Hasidic community of Kiryas Joel, New York. Myers also serves as President of the New Israel Fund.


Chair: Orit Rozin, Tel Aviv University

Orit Rozin is Associate Professor of History in the Department of Jewish History at the Tel Aviv University. In the spring of 2020, she held the Harry Starr Fellowship in Jewish Studies at Harvard University. Her books include A Home for All Jews: Citizenship, Rights, and National Identity in the New Israeli State (2016), The Rise of the Individual in 1950s Israel: A Challenge to Collectivism (2011), and with Yoram Shachar, Law and Emotion (2020).


James Loeffler, University of Virginia

James Loeffler is Jay Berkowitz Professor of Jewish History at the University of Virginia and a Faculty Collaborator with the Religion, Race & Democracy Lab. His books include Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century (2018) and The Law of Strangers: Jewish Lawyers and International Law in the Twentieth Century (2020). He edits the Association for Jewish Studies Review journal and he is currently work on a history of antisemitism and civil rights in postwar America.

Conference Schedule

12:15–1:30 PM EST

How Do We Define Anti-Jewish Discrimination? The Puzzle of Antisemitism


2–3 PM EST

How Can Law Protect Groups? American and International Perspectives


3:30–4:30 PM EST

Can We Move Beyond Race and Religion? Jewish Identity & American Civil Rights Law


4:45–5:30 PM EST

Closing Conversation: Dahlia Lithwick and Micah Schwartzman


Each conference session requires a unique registration—attendees cannot register for the entire conference using a single link. Review the above conference schedule and click on session titles to register and learn more about the speakers. All sessions will be hosted as Zoom webinars.

Have questions? Email thereligionlab@virginia.edu.

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