Persecution & Resilience

Antisemitism is sometimes called ‘the oldest hatred’. From mass atrocity and oppressive laws to casual acts of racism, anti-Jewish sentiment has influenced the Jewish experience throughout history. The most notable and well-known act of hatred committed against Jews is the Holocaust, a collection of events that witnessed the murder of over 6 million Jews. Sadly, the Holocaust was neither the beginning nor the end of antisemitic acts of violence and aggression. Yet the consistency of intolerance has revealed a community that is heroically resilient. Prejudice and violence against Jewish people has been the catalyst for massive demographic shifts, for countless acts of resistance, and for social justice movement that have united diverse groups around the world. At the epicenter of Jewish strength are practices of love and forgiveness. The Torah explicitly bans revenge or bearing grudges and commands ‘do not hate your brother in your heart’ (Leviticus 19:17). The individuals featured here stand as testaments to the influence of intolerance on the Jewish community; and they also demonstrate the power and admirable capacity of a people who are steeped in traditions of collective resilience and peacemaking.

The bonds at the heart of Judaism are not only religious but communal and personal...

Magda Watts

Eva Zaret

Edie Shafer

Hedy Strnad

Jack Marcus