Podcast: American Friends of Israel: A Conversation with Adam Milstein, Israeli-American Philanthropist and Community Leader

Adam Milstein is an Israeli-American real estate investor, lobbyist and philanthropist. He is a managing partner of Hager Pacific Properties. In 2000, Milstein and his wife Gila founded the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation. He is a co-founder of the Israeli-American Council, where he currently serves as chairman of the board. Both organizations support Israeli-American and Jewish-American identity and support of Israel. We would appreciate your help in supporting the American Friends of The Open University of Israel – www.afoui.org American Friends of the Open University of Israel, Inc. (AFOUI) was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in 1981 to build awareness of the Open University of Israel (OUI) in the United States and raise funds in order to provide grants to OUI to support the students, faculty, and growth initiatives of the OUI. We extend our heartfelt thanks to you – our sponsors, donors, friends, and colleagues.

Your vital support is the foundation upon which the successes of the OUI have been built and upon which all its future achievements depend. We invite you to join us in our life-changing mission to further the goals of the OUI, a pioneer and cutting-edge leader in distance learning, dedicated to educating all those who would otherwise be denied a university education and to perpetuating the academic and intellectual traditions of the Jewish people. We would appreciate your help in supporting the American Friends of The Open University of Israel – www.afoui.org

What About Antisemitism in our High Schools?

This article was originally published in the Jerusalem Post on September 13th, 2022, written by Adam Milstein. 


Antisemitism in high schools is uniquely dangerous as teenagers are particularly impressionable, deeply affected by social dynamics of their peers and by the authority of their teachers.


In recent years, while much of the Jewish community has been keenly focused on antisemitism on college campuses, we have largely overlooked another growing danger. Activist teachers and administrators have increasingly injected antisemitism into American public and private high schools through expanded Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) departments and policies and by promoting radical curricula steeped in Critical Race Theory (CRT), such as the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (LESMC). Through this ideology, American Jews are implicitly and sometimes, explicitly, portrayed as privileged white oppressors. By extension, the Jewish State, Israel, is described as an oppressive ethno-state engaged in apartheid, colonialism, and ethnic cleansing.

We are starting to see the consequences of this campaign. Highschool students, both in public and private schools around the nation are engaging in antisemitic bullying and harassment toward their Jewish peers. Amplified through social media and group chats, the phenomenon has become increasingly frequent in high schools. Antisemitism also rears its head in high school sports and a there’s a spike in antisemitic graffiti, like swastikas. Physical violence rooted in antisemitism has become increasingly common in the U.S. and worldwide, from Los Angeles to AtlantaPalm BeachNew York, and even in Australia.

Last month, a federal investigation found that during the 2018 and 2019 school years, a Tempe, Arizona, based Kyrene School District violated the civil rights of a middle schooler when she was forced to endure repeated antisemitic harassment in class. Nine students harassed and called her antisemitic names, in addition to making frequent jokes about the Holocaust.

Most antisemitic attacks on Jewish students go unreported and if in recent years we are starting to find out about antisemitic incidents in high schools which took place several years ago, one can only imagine how much serious is this phenomenon today.

Antisemitism in high schools is uniquely dangerous. Teenagers are particularly impressionable, deeply affected by social dynamics of their peers and by the authority of their teachers and their school administrators. This environment places Jewish students in the classroom in a terribly vulnerable position. To fit in socially, they are often forced to adopt and advocate for ideas rooted in CRT. It is difficult for them to combat the trendy ideas of the day and speak out against the classmates who promote them, even when these ideas advance antisemitic canards. Compared to college, there is even less room to challenge authority in high schools.

Parents of students, even in prestigious private schools, are often hesitant and afraid to speak out against school authorities. When Jewish parent Jerome Eisenberg questioned the elite Brentwood School in Los Angeles for holding racially segregated meetings and encouraging students to treat Jews as “oppressors”, the school administration simply expelled his 8th-grade daughter by preventing her from returning the following school year.

These trends on high school campuses are exacerbated by what teens find on social media, the place where teens get their news, which has become a cesspool for antisemitism. Unfortunately, in recent years all the major social media platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat allow and even promote antisemitic content through their algorithms.

Let us also not forget that not all kids who attend high school go on to university. About one-third of all American teens do not pursue higher education. As a result, the stakes are even higher since essentially all teenagers attend high school. If our youth are being inculcated with antisemitic ideologies from a young age, this will be carried on not only to universities, but also to society. This creates the perfect environment for antisemitism to spread like wildfire and become mainstream in America.

Many Jewish kids and parents (even when they have resources to fight back) are unwilling to report or take action against antisemitism in fear of retaliation toward themselves or their kids.

Is there anything we can do? 

First and foremost, we need to inspire the next generation to be proud Jews and nurture in them a deep connection to the State of Israel so that any indoctrination they encounter in high schools doesn’t carry weight.

Second, we must actively address the danger of DEI and CRT in our schools, which are often packaged as Ethnic Studies. We must prevent the passage of legislation that makes Ethnic Studies curriculum mandatory in high schools at the state level across the country and work to ensure that individual school districts do not adopt curriculum rooted in hate.

Third, Jewish students must be educated about their civil rights as upheld by the U.S. Constitution. Our children must be empowered with the ability to identify, report, and document antisemitic attacks and incidents, with attorneys ready to take action if necessary to uphold their rights. Teachers and administrators must also be educated and held accountable. One noteworthy resource at their disposal is “Addressing Anti-Semitism in Schools: Training Curriculum for Secondary Education Teachers, a joint publication of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and UNESCO.

Forth, we must go on the offense against those that target our high school students with antisemitic ideas by exposing their agenda and holding them accountable in the court of law and the court of public opinion. We need to empower both teens and their parents to report and stand up against jew-hatred.

For American Jews, education is fundamental. Our children are entitled to and deserve top quality education free of malice, discrimination and antisemitism. It is far past time that we make safeguarding our youth a much higher priority.

This op-ed is published in partnership with a coalition of organizations that fight antisemitism across the world. Read the previous article by Noam Koren.

Cultivating the Jewish Venture Philanthropists of the Future

This article was originally published in the Jerusalem Post on August 11th, 2022, written by Dorit Naftalin Nelson and Adam Milstein. 

Recent research suggests that younger Jewish philanthropists do not share the same charitable priorities of their parents. The efforts to engage the younger generations needs to start with teens.

The Looming Crisis

The 21st century marks a turning point in Jewish philanthropy. The generations that are fading away hold vivid memories of the Holocaust, lived through the miraculous founding of the State of Israel and experienced the thrill of Israel’s triumph in the 1967 Six Day War. It feels inevitable that the focus and the intensity of Jewish giving is changing as these pivotal events go further and further into the rearview mirror.

While hundreds billions of dollars are being passed down from one Jewish generation to the next, research suggests that younger Jewish philanthropists do not share the same charitable priorities that their parents did. One can now imagine a majority of American Jews declining to support the State of Israel as a homeland of the Jewish people, fight antisemitism, or breathe life into the Talmudic statement that “Kol Israel Areivim Zeh La’Zeh” (all Jews are responsible for one another).

Many efforts have focused on engaging and activating Jewish students in college, but “the work” needs to start much earlier. In an effort to shield young people from unpleasantness and negativity, our institutions have chosen to shield teens from the true face of the Jewish people’s enemies. This has left them completely unprepared to respond when they encounter Jew-hatred on campus or in the workplace. The result is that when many young Jews come face-to-face with antisemitism, they simply walk away, stay passive, or even find justifications in the anti-Jewish claims that are made. Because we don’t prepare them, they choose the path of least resistance.

We cannot afford a younger generation that stays inactive in the face of unprecedented antisemitism. As Jewish parents and pro-Israel philanthropists, how we can cultivate shared philanthropic priorities in our children? It is incumbent on us to mentor and empower young Jews to be knowledgeable and active leaders of our community in a holistic way. We must teach them to go beyond simply engaging in social justice projects in or outside the Jewish world. We need to find ways to enable our next generation to understand the deepening problems our community is facing and take early steps on their own leadership journeys to confront these challenges. We need to equip them with the knowledge, the know-how, the means, the tools and the opportunities to lead.

Venture Philanthropy for Jewish Teens

To reverse the trend of detachment, we need to develop programs that will interest, engage, prepare  and educate young Jews about standing up for Israel and the Jewish people and challenging antisemitism through philanthropy while they are still in high school. We need to think about how to facilitate certain kinds of skill development, nurture a deep sense of Jewish pride, and transmit the importance of building a united Jewish community confronting antisemites and defending the State of Israel with charitable giving.

This is why a group of concerned parents and Southern California philanthropists are developing a new program with the mission of supporting Israel and combating Jew-hatred that will take inspiration from the Los Angeles-based Impact Forum, which brings together a network of like-minded philanthropists to fund and empower a network of small but impactful nonprofit organizations to collaborate and amplify each other’s work.

The vision is to develop a “Venture Philanthropist Club” for Jewish high school students in Los Angeles, which will hopefully become a model adopted nationwide. A coeducational, after-school curricular activity, the club will assign young students to different venture teams focused on fighting antisemitism, supporting the State of Israel, and strengthening their communities.

The program will educate students about the issues facing our community, the principles of strategic philanthropy, and the organizations leading the charge to defend the Jewish people and the State of Israel. It will build up students’ knowledge to make their own choices about which organizations are doing the most essential work. In addition to teaching them to raise funds in their networks, the program will provide them with seed funding to support existing pro-Israel organizations that speak to them, as well as new philanthropic ventures. The fundraising will take place jointly from impact philanthropists and their local communities, demonstrating the impact that is possible by leveraging multiple networks of giving.

Strategic Venture philanthropy involves much more than financial giving. It is a holistic investment of one’s personal time, resources, knowledge, and efforts. In the context of the Venture Philanthropist Clubs, participating students will take a hands-on-approach throughout the evaluation, creation and funding process. They will do the work of vetting different nonprofit organizations, interacting with them and asking key questions. After internal discussions, students will vote as a club to determine the amount to donate to each organization, and then to establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of their contributions.

Students will also be encouraged to stay involved with the organizations by volunteering or perhaps serving on student boards. By investing more of themselves, sometimes in projects of their own, students will have a real-world experience to drive more impact, which hopefully will make the work of standing up for Israel and the Jewish people a higher personal priority in college and beyond.

Empowering our Youth is Critical 

We are facing a critical communal challenge. If Jews are going to continue to thrive in America, we need to find ways to interest and empower a younger generation to become leaders. Using venture philanthropy as a vehicle to activate and energize them is an important pathway to that goal. Our adversaries have learned to cultivate ever younger cohorts of activists. It is time that we develop the potential in our high school students.

In the Los Angeles area alone, there are billions of dollars that will be passed down from Jewish parents to the next generation. The best way to ensure these funds are used effectively to support causes vital to our community – Jewish unity, fighting antisemitism and supporting the State of Israel – is to invest in empowering the younger generation to assume leadership through venture philanthropy. American Jews, across the generations, need each other more than ever.

Dorit Naftalin Nelson, a healthcare consultant In Los Angeles, is the proud mother of 4 (including an IDF lone soldier) and has been active in many Jewish communal organizations. 

Adam Milstein is an Israeli-American “Active Philanthropist.” He can be reached at [email protected], on Twitter @AdamMilstein, and on Facebook .

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Policies: A Danger to Jews and All Americans

This article was originally published in the Jerusalem Post on July 5th, 2022, written by Adam Milstein. 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) offices, officers, policies, and programming are being increasingly embraced in American institutions, from government to the corporate workplace. This is particularly true in education, from leading American universities to elite prep schools. In fact, one sampling of leading American universities found DEI staff making up an average of 3.4 positions for every 100 tenured or tenure-track faculty members and outnumbering by a factor of at least four the staff dedicated to helping students with disabilities.

The ostensible goals of DEI are positive: to promote the representation, participation, and fair treatment of historically marginalized groups. In practice, though, DEI, which is closely linked to critical race theory (CRT), has been deployed to advance a radical agenda that undermines fundamental American values by promoting equality of outcome over equality of opportunity, collective identity (race, gender, etc.) over individual character, censorship of opposing viewpoints over freedom of speech, and a victim culture that crudely bifurcates society into oppressors and oppressed.

Along with embracing other favored radical causes, DEI is also being weaponized against Jewish students, maliciously portraying them and the Jewish State as wanton oppressors. Thus, with the expanding number and power of amply funded and staffed DEI offices that, rather than thwarting the rise of anti-Israel sentiment and restraining hostility toward Jews, actually contributing to it, American universities are becoming hotbeds of antisemitism.

The rise of antisemitism on college campuses is continuing and has already been well documented. A 2021 survey by Hillel and the ADL found that one in three Jewish college students personally experienced antisemitic hate in the previous academic year. Jewish students regularly have to contend with the demonization of Israel and its supporters, obscene Holocaust comparisons and minimization, negative stereotyping, and other common antisemitic tropes.

According to a December 2021 Heritage Foundation report, “Inclusion Delusion: The Antisemitism of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Staff at Universities,” which analyzed the Twitter feeds of hundreds of DEI university personnel, there is a disproportionate hostility toward Israel among university DEI staff. Malicious charges they have levied against Israel on Twitter include describing the Jewish State as an “apartheid” or “colonial” state and accusing Israel of engaging in “genocide” or “ethnic cleansing.”

Instead of creating a welcome and inclusive environment for Jewish students, who overwhelmingly feel a strong connection to Israel, DEI officials are engaged in anti-Israel demonization that promotes antisemitism and legitimizes Jew-hatred on campus.

In one particularly egregious illustration of this phenomenon, Yasmeen Mashayekh, a University of Southern California (USC) student senator for diversity, equity and inclusion, tweeted in May 2021 that she wanted to “kill every motherf***ing Zionist.” Despite this and other hateful messages in which she expressed support for terrorism and the murder of Israelis, she has not been disciplined by USC and was able to retain her student senator DEI position.

The harm that DEI programming and personnel cause Jewish students isn’t limited to higher education. It even extends to schoolchildren. A Jewish parent, Jerome Eisenberg, is suing the prestigious private K-12 Brentwood School in Los Angeles for engaging in a DEI-driven “scheme to transform the school under a racially divisive, antisemitic ideology that seeks to indoctrinate children to reject Western values.”

In recent years, the curriculum at Brentwood has taken a radical, racially divisive turn after it was handed over to its “Office of Equity and Inclusion,” whose “staffing had increased ten-fold in a short period of time.” According to Eisenberg, “the school held racially segregated meetings and encouraged students to treat Jewish people as ‘oppressors’ and discriminated against a Jewish group of parents.” When he expressed his concerns about antisemitic discrimination, the school threatened to expel his 8th-grade daughter immediately and ultimately effectively did so when they denied her from returning the following school year.

It is deeply troubling that DEI personnel and programming, which is ostensibly committed to combatting bias and hate, is actively contributing to antisemitism in the American education system. As I have repeatedly warned, though, antisemitism is not just a Jewish problem – it is an American problem. DEI policies may disproportionately target and harm Jewish students, but the DEI agenda ultimately seeks to undermine and replace fundamental American values and replace it with its own radical vision. As we’ve seen before, what starts with elites quickly spreads to society as a whole. We must combat these ethically corrupted DEI efforts before they do more harm to Jewish students and ultimately all Americans.

The writer is an Israeli-American “Active Philanthropist.” He can be reached at [email protected], on Twitter , and on Facebook . 

This op-ed is published in partnership with a coalition of organizations that fight antisemitism across the world. 

Podcast: Adam Milstein Speaking with the American Friends of Unit 669, the Combat Search and Rescue Unit of the Israeli Air Force

Not Another Iron Dome – Adam Milstein’s Mission to Build Israel’s Iron Sword. A Strategic Approach to Defending Israel and Jewish Communities Through Social Entrepreneurship & Impact Investing

Episode Description

In this episode, our guest is one of AFU669’s biggest supporters and donors and a well-known philanthropist.

He is originally from Haifa, Israel, and served in the IDF during the Yom Kippur war.

He lives in Los Angeles today, he is a real estate entrepreneur with a portfolio valued at over 1 billion USD.

He co-founded the IAC (Israel American Council) and was its chairman, and is very involved in supporting

Israel and opposing BDS, and a few years ago he was chosen as one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world.

Adam Milstein: Making an impact through strategic venture philanthropy by Alan Rosenbaum

This article was originally published in the Jerusalem Post on May 19, 2022, written by Alan Rosenbaum in cooperation with the Adam and Gila Milstein Foundation

“I am very focused on my mission,” says prominent Israeli-American philanthropist and activist Adam Milstein, “which is to fight antisemitism, the enemies of Israel, and support the Jewish people.’

Combatting antisemitism through strategic venture philanthropy – opinion

This article was originally published in the Jerusalem Post on April 25, 2022, written by Adam Milstein of the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation.

For the past two decades major Jewish organizations have been sounding the alarm bells about the exponential rise of Jew-hatred in America and globally. They have been asking their members to financially support them in the fight against the resurgence of this centuries-old disease.

But while substantially more philanthropic dollars are being funneled to legacy organization for the purpose of fighting Jew-hatred, it is undeniable that antisemitism is continuing to grow in the United States. According to the ADL’s and AJC’s Hate Crime Reports, 2019 and 2020 were, respectively, the highest and third-highest years on record for cases of vandalism, harassment, and assault against Jews in the U.S. since 1979.

For generations, the traditional Jewish organizations have been focused on developing effective programs to promote Jewish continuity, education, leadership, community engagement, and many other social and cultural projects. But given these rising incidents of Jew-hatred in the United States, it’s worth asking whether or not they are as effective in fighting antisemitism, and if not – why.

For these large organizations, it is hard to change and adopt new strategies to combat antisemitism. Many of them disagree as to what is considered antisemitism and what isn’t. As such, they have difficulties on agreeing on policies and action plans to combat this evil.

The legacy groups have created unbelievable redundancy, with dozens of virtually identical organizations operating in silos, mired by conflicting interests and competition for donors.

Why would the large institutions change when very few of their donors demand that they do things different. Most donors, large and small, are giving in order to feel good, to belong to a social network, to interact with relevant business associates, to receive naming opportunities, and to obtain honors, respect, and influence. Making an impact with their donation dollars is a secondary priority for them.

This is why it is so critical that we complement what the legacy organizations are doing with new and different approaches. We need to fight against Jew-hatred by going on the offense, exposing and holding antisemites accountable, and we also need to convince Jewish donors to support impact-oriented projects, out of the box ideas, and innovative initiatives that can move the needle.

While there are no silver bullets, over the past two decades of battling in the trenches, I became acquainted with the unique vision of strategic venture philanthropy, a multi-network collaboration model that generates synergies among philanthropists and the most effective small and medium, startup-like organizations to effectuate real change.

Here is an example: When the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement emerged on American campuses some 15 years ago, presenting itself as a human rights organization, many Jewish organizations ignored the fact this movement’s goal was to eradicate the State of Israel and kill its Jewish population. They provided BDS leaders a community platform to spread their hate and invited them to participate in questionable discourse. By doing so, they actually enhanced antisemitism rather than defeating it.

In contrast, a group of venture philanthropists have commissioned several in depth research projects looking into the origins of the BDS movement, the background of its leaders, its funding, and operational methods. One of the projects discovered that the BDS movement was established in 2001 by the major Palestinian terror organizations as a “non-military-front” to destroy the State of Israel based on the methods that brought the collapse of the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Another research project looked into the impact of the BDS movement and demonstrated how it represents the newest iteration of Antisemism. It promotes hate against Jews wherever they are because the Jewish people are inherently connected to the homeland of the Jewish people, the State of Israel. The research showed the BDS radicalizes all the other hate groups, far right, far left, and radical Islamists, and promotes physical violence against Jews.

Once completed, the actionable parts of the research projects were provided to governmental institutions, and drew on the network of nonprofit organizations, in the media, legal, think tanks, and on the ground, willing to work on the same mission, creating synergy and force multiplication. As a result, the BDS movement is known today as a terrorist-affiliated network and the premier promotor of the New Antisemitism. BDS leaders are now often uninvited to universities, they lost tremendous governmental and NGO’s fundings, and many fund-raising platforms have cancelled them.

Strategic venture philanthropy empowers philanthropists, often leaders of their industries, to bring their own unique vision, connections, and experience to contribute much more than just a check. The power of each philanthropist is exponentially increased through a multi-network collaboration model, like in the Los Angeles-based Impact Forum, which we established in 2017. Through the Impact Forum, combined philanthropic strength is leveraged to empower a network of small and mid-size nonprofit organizations—each punching substantially above their weight as they create their own synergies to amplify their impact.

As antisemitism worsens before our eyes, we should complement the traditional, institutions-based philanthropy who ‘know what’s best’ with new out of the box proactive ideas, empowered by strategic venture philanthropists, willing to invest their experience, know how, time, connections, and philanthropy dollars to move the needle.

University Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Staff Show Anti-Israel Bias

This article was originally published in the The National Interest on January 30, 2022, written by Adam Milstein of the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation, James Jay Carafano of The Heritage Foundation, and Elan S. Carr who is a former U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism and a visiting fellow at Heritage.

A recent Heritage Foundation study found strong anti-Israel bias in the social media posts of “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” (DEI) officials at colleges and universities throughout the United States. These officials criticize Israel far more frequently and far more severely than they do China. Their posts about Israel exceed those mentioning China by a factor of three, and almost all of their statements about Israel express condemnation, whereas nearly two-thirds of their comments on China convey praise.

These disturbing findings should surprise no one. U.S. campuses have become hotbeds of hostility toward the state of Israel as well as toward the idea of American exceptionalism, and in the radical religion of the campus, far-left professors are the priests and DEI officers are the choir.

This religion has its orthodoxies: America is systemically racist and defined by perpetual struggle of oppressed against oppressors; “white privilege”—for which Jews should be regarded as an exemplar—is a chief source of oppression, and status-based intersectional categories of victimhood confer both justness and entitlement. Under this neo-Marxist paradigm, there is no hint of irony when officials putatively devoted to fostering “diversity” and “inclusion” instead promote hostility toward Israel or regard as obnoxious the idea that the allegedly privileged Jewish people have a right to national self-determination in their ancient homeland.

Alas, this nonsense is not confined to classroom discussions or social media posts. DEI training sessions have resulted in complaints of discrimination against Jews, and radicalized students indoctrinated in this ideology have made campus life more and more unbearable for their Jewish and pro-Israel peers.

recent poll of students active in Jewish organizations on campus found that 65 percent felt unsafe on campus because of physical or verbal attacks. Half felt the need to conceal their Jewish identity or support for Israel for the sake of their safety. In response to widespread harassment and discrimination directed toward Jewish students, President Donald Trump issued an executive order reiterating that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act protects Jews—just as every other race, color, national origin, and ethnicity—from discrimination at taxpayer-funded universities.

The anti-Semitism infesting many college campuses goes far beyond hate speech. Take the complaint filed by the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law on behalf of Jewish students at the University of Chicago Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It cited numerous cases of pervasive anti-Semitic activity on campus, including criminal activity such as thefts overtly targeting Jews, car vandalism, and other property damage. Universities have a legal and moral duty to prevent such criminality and to respond when it occurs.

The poisonous environment at universities is a global phenomenon. During his previous diplomatic role, one of the authors of the Heritage Foundation study represented the United States in meetings with European Jewish student leaders. Like those in North America, Jewish and pro-Israel students in Europe report a campus climate of open hostility—one so bad that in many cases, they have had to conceal their identity.

From Berlin to Berkeley, many students feel they must purchase their personal safety on campus at the price of divorce from a key part of their Jewish identity, namely, a sense of Jewish peoplehood and a connection with the Jewish homeland. These students feel their university’s environment is telling them: Extirpate Israel and Zionism from your identity, and you’ll go unmolested on your campus; express the contrary at your peril.

Coercing Jews to abandon key aspects of their ethnic or religious identity is nothing new. In fact, it has a name: Anti-Semitism. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo set forth this basic truth in the clearest terms. “Let me go on the record,” he declared, “anti-Zionism is antisemitism.” Pompeo also rightly recognized that the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which runs rampant on campuses and isolates Jewish students, is anti-Semitic.

Fortunately, there are specific steps our schools can take to correct course and restore sanity to campus.

First, universities and school districts should adopt the standard definition of anti-Semitism put forth by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). This “Working Definition of Antisemitism” has been adopted and promoted by the State Department through multiple administrations and is used by other agencies of the federal government. It has also been adopted globally, by thirty-five countries, over 250 provinces and cities and more than 350 educational institutions and other organizations. The IHRA Working Definition sets forth eleven “contemporary examples” of anti-Semitism. These capture both traditional manifestations of Jew-hatred and the more modern targeting of Israel and Zionism.

The IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism is a tool of education, not censorship. Its adoption by universities and schools, and critically, its incorporation into educational programs and training, will promote understanding of Israel-hatred and other forms of anti-Semitism. By properly defining and recognizing anti-Semitism, universities will also be better equipped to respond to antisemitic incidents.

Second, universities should dramatically reduce the ever-multiplying throngs of DEI officers. A Heritage survey of sixty-five major universities revealed an average of forty-five DEI staff at each, with 163 at the University of Michigan. Overall, DEI personnel outnumbered staff focused on assisting those with disabilities (ADA compliance) by 4.2 to 1. At the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, DEI staff outnumbered those focused on students with disabilities by 13.3 to 1. On average, the universities employed 3.4 DEI staff for every 100 tenured or tenure-track professors.

Third, universities should strive—or be required by donors and alumni to strive—for greater ideological balance in their faculty and programs. Genuine “diversity” requires diversity of background and viewpoint. Universities should also evaluate the current state of ideological bias among their faculty and programs. Across the U.S., programs at universities—especially in Middle Eastern Studies Departments—promote blatant anti-American and anti-Israel viewpoints, whitewashing terrorism and suppressing alternative views.

Fourth, universities should find ways to celebrate the contributions of the Jewish people, Jewish history, and the values of Judaism that have contributed so much to the United States and to civilization itself. Since 1980, every president of the United States has declared a period of time for doing exactly this. Each May is presidentially designated as Jewish American Heritage Month, but unlike similar months dedicated to Blacks, Hispanics, and other ethnic groups, there is little programming, educational materials, or awareness of Jewish American Heritage Month. At a time when America’s Jewish heritage is under assault, there is no excuse for neglect.

Let no one imagine that the indoctrination students receive on campus will not affect them when they enter the business world, civil society, or government. A British member of parliament (MP) who fled Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-Semitic Labour Party explained to one of the Heritage study’s authors that the Corbyn disaster was bred on Britain’s university campuses. Nothing was done, said the former Labour MP, because campus culture was dismissed as a matter only for students. When the disease crept into the Labour Party, it was again dismissed, this time as simply the rantings of a far-left fringe. “Finally,” said the MP, “they won; we lost, and I no longer have a political party.”

As Americans, our future depends on the steps we take to correct this today.

Global community for Israel inspired by the Israeli-American Community

This article was originally published in the Jerusalem Post on January 17, 2022, written by Adam Milstein of the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation.

In early December 2021, I attended the largest Israeli community reunion outside of Israel: the annual Israeli American Council (IAC) Summit in Miami, Florida, where I met, enjoyed, and celebrated the gathering of more than 3,000 members of the pro-Israel community in America and around the world. People of all ages, backgrounds, and interests all showed up to express their love and support for the State of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people.


I was one of the founders of the IAC back in 2006, a member of its national board for the past 15 years, and the national chairman of the IAC from 2015 to 2019. I worked with the other founders and leaders of this movement, to transform the IAC from a local Israeli club in Los Angeles to a nationwide community and the fastest growing Jewish-American organization in the nation.


Our original shared vision and mission was to reach Israelis living in America wherever they were, bolster their new identity of Americans of Israeli descent, empower them with a defined sense of purpose, and unite them into a coast-to-coast Israeli-American community that preserves and strengthens the Israeli and Jewish identity of our next generation. The IAC’s mission also included providing unwavering support to the State of Israel and serving as a bridge between Israeli-Americans and Jewish Americans.


Over the years, the mission of the IAC grew and was implemented through many programs for all ages and activity types filling numerous different needs. There are programs for young children, teens, students, young professionals, families, and adult groups, on subjects such as Hebrew learning, Jewish education, technology and innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership, Jewish culture, personal growth, community building, advocacy, business, and philanthropy, and many more. Any time our members came up with a community need, the IAC was there to expand its programming and make it happen.


At the same time, as major Jewish American organizations pushed Israel outside the scope of their mission and no longer perceived the Jewish State as the center of their Jewish life, more and more Jewish Americans and even some non-Jews joined the activities of the IAC nationwide. The IAC provided a safe space for anyone who loves the State of Israel and promoted unwavering and unconditional support for Israel.


In essence, the IAC grew from a local organization for Israelis, and later on for Israeli-Americans, promoting a few specific goals, into the largest pro-Israel community of Jews living in America, natives and immigrants alike. Like any community, the Israeli-American community is diverse, and each sub-group has different interests and objectives. The December 2021 summit attendees were of all ages, races, political views, from all over America and worldwide but notwithstanding all of these differences, all attendees, Jewish and non-Jewish, had one major and overriding unifier bringing them all together: unconditional love and support for Israel.


At the recent IAC Summit, I realized I was participating in the largest Jewish community reunion in American history. And while one might reasonably consider some other Jewish-American conferences in a similar light, I would argue that none of these Jewish organizations is a truly cohesive community.

Does antisemitism exist in Israel?

This article was originally published in the Jerusalem Post (JPOST) on December 26, 2021, written by Adam Milstein of the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation.

At the Israeli-American Council (IAC) Summit I recently attended in Miami, I heard from Israeli leaders and ministers that it’s hard for Israelis to relate to the scourge of global antisemitism because… there is no antisemitism in Israel!
I was surprised to learn that according to these leaders, the war of attrition and demonization against our Jewish State, led globally by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which Israelis define as de-legitimization, is not viewed as antisemitism.
This notion was reinforced few days later when an Israeli Minister said at a Knesset conference on “Combating De-Legitimization” (i.e. BDS) that he is unwilling to accept the claim that every act of the BDS is antisemitic.”

Is the BDS movement Antisemitic in nature?

According to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, the BDS movement is clearly antisemitic pursuant to multiple criteria, including:
“Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation”; BDS maintains a singular, hostile obsession with Israel, applying standards to Israel it applies to no other entities, including a complete disregard of the human rights abuses carried out by the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and neighboring Arab states against Palestinians.
“Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor”; BDS is committed to the elimination of “apartheid” Israel, defining all Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel as illegal and unjust “occupation.”
“Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion”;  BDS never explicitly and unreservedly condemns violence against Israelis; instead, it condones violence as a legitimate form of “resistance.”

Is the BDS Movement also affiliated with Terrorism?

If this isn’t convincing that BDS equals antisemitism, perhaps we should explore the purpose of the BDS movement and its origins.
In 2019 the Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs published Terrorists in Suits, a now renowned report that substantiates the fact that the five major Palestinian terror organizations, being the Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, established the BDS movement in 2001 to open a new line of attacks against the State of Israel the Jewish people and focus their efforts into one unified channel. In addition to terror attacks on Israelis, they launched international boycotts against Israel based on the model used against the South African apartheid regime during the 70s and 80s.
One of the first strategic actions taken by these Palestinian terror groups was to declare that Zionism is Racism and label Israel as an apartheid state during the Durban conference in 2001. Another strategic action was and is presenting Israel as a human rights violator and as an apartheid State.
In 2019 Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs published another report: Behind the Mask: The Antisemitic Nature of BDS Exposed. Its findings were later supported in The New Antisemites report published by StopAntisemitism.org and Zachor Legal Institute and endorsed by more than 60 American NGOs. Both reports substantiated that the BDS movement is the new antisemitism of our era, demonizes Israel and the Jewish people, connects all the main hate movements – the Far Right, Far Left and Radical Islamists—and incites violence against Jews wherever they are.

Does the BDS Movement really incite violence globally and in Israel?

Over the last couple of years and even within the past few weeks, violent and lethal attacks against Jews have become common, globally and in Israel. Just look at recent assaults against Jews in New York, Los Angeles, Jerusalem, Jaffa, Haifa, Lod, and Judea and Samaria, perpetrated by Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs who support BDS’s goal of eliminating Israel and its Jewish residents.
The attackers in Europe, America and Israel were mostly extremist Muslims who particularly targeted those who were visibly Jewish.
By and large, Israelis intuitively understand that the BDS movement—with its aim to kill Jews, and eliminate the Jewish State, its demonization and double standards against Israel, and its tacit, if not explicit, support for violence and terrorism against Israelis and its Jewish and non-Jewish supporters—is inherently antisemitic.
It’s well past time that Israeli leaders caught up to the reality that antisemitism is present and a clear danger in Israel and those killing innocent Israelis in Israel and worldwide are acting on antisemitic motives.
Given BDS’s irrefutable antisemitic and violent nature, it is deeply alarming that Israeli leaders are soft-pedaling the antisemitic menace that BDS is. The war against Israel, for which BDS essentially serves as the public relations arm, is part and parcel of global antisemitism. Jews in the Diaspora and Israel are both targets in this campaign.
We must stand together against BDS and all forms of antisemitism. The war against Israel is rooted in antisemitism, and we must no longer inaccurately diminish the conflict as some kind of intercommunal, territorial struggle. Rejection of a sovereign Jewish presence in Israel, which BDS promotes, is antisemitic.
I call on Israeli Jews to forthrightly recognize the antisemitic war that has been unjustly thrusted upon them, as well as past and future generations, for so many decades, and stand together with their Jewish brethren in the Diaspora who are also under assault.
They must also demand that their leaders directly identify and combat this antisemitic menace and not dilute this real and present danger, which all too regularly kills and maims Jews in Israel and worldwide. Together, we can prevail against this evil.
The writer is an Israeli-American “Active Philanthropist.” He can be reached at [email protected], on Twitter @AdamMilstein, and on Facebook www.facebook.com/AdamMilsteinCP. This op-ed is published in partnership with a coalition of organizations that fight antisemitism across the world.