Antisemitism Awareness Act before Congress

MERCAZ USA is a signatory on this statement issued by the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Federations of North America.



Members of the United States House of Representatives,

We write to urge immediate passage of H.R. 6090, the Antisemitism Awareness Act.

The purpose of this legislation is to assist the Department of Education in determining whether investigations of alleged antisemitic discrimination are warranted under the Department’s statutory anti-discrimination enforcement authority and provides a common definition of antisemitism to be used for such purposes.

Following Hamas’s October 7th massacre, incidents of discrimination, harassment, and violence directed against Jewish students on college campuses dramatically increased. In recent days, these confrontations have reached a fever pitch with threatening anti-Israel demonstrations happening on campuses around the country, many including explicit calls to violence against Jews and antisemitic rhetoric. Given these events, this bill is more timely and important than ever to give the Department of Education the tools it needs to ensure Jewish student safety and hold those violating Title VI protections accountable.

H.R. 6090 will cement the policy of the current and prior administrations, interpreting Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect Jewish students to the extent that they face discrimination based on perceived racial, national, or ethnic characteristics. In order to determine when harassment on campus may be motivated by anti-Jewish animus, the bill utilizes the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism, including its examples which capture not only traditional anti-Jewish hatred and Holocaust denial but also modern antisemitism targeting Jewish Americans for association with or connection to the State of Israel.

The IHRA definition is the most authoritative and recognized definition of antisemitism, adopted thus far by more than 1,200 entities around the world, including 36 U.S. states, 91 U.S. cities and municipalities, the U.S. Department of State in each of the prior three administrations, and 42 other countries. The current climate certainly reinforces the need for the Department of Education to have clear guidance when investigating instances in which anti-Israel activity may cross a line into antisemitic harassment that creates a hostile environment for Jewish students on campus in violation of federal civil rights laws.

We ask that you support passage of this key piece of legislation so that Congress will remain a leading voice in the fight against anti-Jewish hate, violence, and discrimination.


Agudath Israel of America
Alpha Epsilon Pi
American Israel Public Affairs Committee
American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Congress
American Sephardi Federation
American Zionist Movement
ADL (Anti-Defamation League)
B’nai B’rith International
Combat Antisemitism Movement
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
Elie Wiesel Foundation
Emunah of America
Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America
Iranian American Jewish Federation
Jewish Federations of North America
Jewish National Fund USA
Jewish Women International
National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of Young Israel
Rabbinical Assembly
Rabbinical Council of America
Religious Zionists of America
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Women’s International Zionist Organization
Women’s League for Conservative Judaism