Raise and apply funds for targeted programs and activities that advance the values, interests, and security of the Jewish Community and which create a more coordinated and interconnected set of Orange County stakeholders.
Orange County is a safe and comfortable place for Jews to live.
Good evening, honorable members of the Irvine City Council.
My name is Erik Ludwig and I’m the President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Orange County.
In recent months, we have witnessed a deeply troubling rise in antisemitic rhetoric, not just in the broader public domain but distressingly, within these very chambers. Remarks made in previous council meetings have not only pained our community but have also sown division and fear among us.
It is with a heavy heart that I note the silence—or worse, the implicit endorsement—of some council members regarding this hate speech. This silence is deafening and serves to legitimize prejudice and bigotry.
The Jewish community, a vibrant part of Irvine's mosaic, deserves to feel safe and respected. The continued use of antisemitic tropes and speech in public forums threatens the very fabric of our inclusive society. It emboldens hate, undermines democracy, and contradicts the values that define us.
I urge members of this council to use all tools at its disposal including the Council’s own Meeting Decorum Rules to address and curtail this dangerous trend. It is imperative to enforce policies that not only condemn hate speech but also hold those accountable who use public platforms to spread divisiveness and intolerance.
Am Yisrael Chai.
Thank you for your time.
President & CEO
The Jewish Federation of Orange County is deeply concerned by the antisemitic rhetoric on display at recent Irvine City Council meetings. We firmly oppose the use of city resources beyond municipal affairs and urge the Council to avoid engaging with divisive, hate-fueled speech.
While today’s ruling by the International Court of Justice is deeply troubling in multiple aspects, it importantly affirms Israel’s right to self-defense after the horrific attacks of October 7th and demands the immediate release of all hostages. On the day before International Holocaust Remembrance Day, it is vital to preserve the integrity of the term “genocide” and ensure that it is not perverted or cheapened for political ends.
Click here to read a full statement from the Jewish Federations of North America.
Yesterday, the Stanton City Council rejected a disgraceful resolution that condemned Israel in the aftermath of the October 7 terrorist attacks. In addition to using offensive terminology like “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide,” and “apartheid,” the resolution contained information that was not only historically inaccurate but blatantly antisemitic. Hatred of any kind should have no place in Orange County, and our civic leaders must do more to denounce bigotry in all forms.
Last night, the Santa Ana City Council rejected a shameful resolution that sought to condemn Israel in the aftermath of the October 7 terrorist attacks. The draft resolution submitted by two council members contained rhetoric making false equivalencies and using terms like "ethnic cleansing," "genocide," and "apartheid" in ways that could fuel antisemitism and bigotry towards Jewish people. We believe that Jew-hatred should have no place in Orange County and that future discussions and resolutions maintain a balanced perspective, respect historical truths, and avoid language that inadvertently, or purposefully, promotes bigotry.
We appreciate the Democratic Party of Orange County’s decision to reject a one-sided, hateful resolution that equated the democratic state of Israel with the actions of Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization. At a time when antisemitism has pervaded our schools, city councils, and communities, we applaud the Democratic Party’s efforts to ensure that hate and terror have no place in Orange County.
We are witnessing a significant spike in the frequency and severity of antisemitic incidents across the country and around the world. This increase has been exacerbated by the response of some to the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas. Countering antisemitism is a matter for four steps:
ake time to understand antisemitism in all of its manifestations so you can call it out when you see it and educate others. Here are some helpful resources:
Call out antisemitism wherever you see it – online, at work or in school, and in the media. Understand when antisemitism is disguised as anti-Zionism. Calling out hate can be intimidating and exhausting, but silence fosters complacency.
Pay attention to how your elected officials respond to antisemitism. Thank those who speak out, and call on those who don’t speak out to do so. And ask them to take action. Right now you can call on your federal elected officials to:
Most hate incidents never get reported. Robust data enables community organizations to understand local trends so that they can educate lawmakers, law enforcement, and other community stakeholders and take appropriate action. In Orange County, report antisemitic incidents to the Anti-Defamation League or Orange County Human Relations.