Definition of Antisemitism

This definition is intended to be a resource to aid in learning and understanding. It is not a policy definition. For policy definitions, please visit the Policies, Procedures, and Practices section of the website.

Working definition of antisemitism

In order to begin to address the problem of antisemitism, there must be clarity about what antisemitism is. In 2016, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance adopted the following working definition of antisemitism:

Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.

This working definition is legally non-binding, but is used by the United States Commission on Civil Rights to help universities identify the lines between hateful and non-hateful incidents. It was adopted as a non-binding, working definition in 2016 by the U.S. State Department and the 30 other member states of the IHRA.

Additional educational resources are available at the website, “Antisemitism Uncovered: A Guide to Old Myths in a New Era,” a project of the ADL. This website offers historical context, fact-based descriptions of antisemitic myths, contemporary examples, and ways to combat hate and misinformation.