Introduction

The course “Globalization and Antisemitism(s): Understanding the Contemporary Attack on Jewish Notions of Peoplehood and Democratic Principles” is designed to elevate students’ awareness of one of the world’s most urgent issues: global antisemitism. It examines contemporary antisemitism in all its manifestations, which are not widely acknowledged, understood, or combated in society or academia. A compelling feature of the course is its illustration of how antisemitism is tolerated and even promoted, not only in Jihadist mosques and white supremacist enclaves, but also in liberal democratic spaces, from lecture halls to church pulpits, from scholarly journals to news media. 

In their penetrating lectures our scholars will redress a lack of significant literature across the disciplines in college and university campuses today.  Until now the course offered in institutions of higher learning either do not assess the origins and defining features of antisemitism or address it only as a subset of “hatred in general.” . The most compelling feature to this course is that while antisemitism exists, contemporary manifestations are not understood or combated within the contemporary and interdisciplinary context. 

Antisemitism, as Elie Wiesel taught, begins with the Jews but never ends with the Jews.  Once this lethal hatred is unleashed upon society it knows no boundaries.  Why?  Because, as Emmanuel Levinas has said, antisemitism is hatred of the other human being.  It is rooted in a contempt for difference, and, says Levinas, it is present in every form of racism:it is not just a Jewish parochial issue. Placing the study of contemporary antisemitism within the framework of a respected and interdisciplinary area of study, this course explores some fundamental  questions:  How can old racist and religious antisemitism be so prominent in academia,  in radical Islam,  on the extreme Left and the extreme Right, and in religious and secular ideological movements? While most matters of human rights and dignity become mainstream through public debates and calls to action, a discussion over the meaning of new antisemitism or its disguised twin antizionism, becomes an assault on Human Rights.

Themes and issues in this course are addressed by experts in their respective fields such as: Charles Asher Small, the founder of ISGAP who has been a driving force in placing this subject matter within academia;  David Hirsch, David Patterson, Joel Kotek, and Dina Linsiansky to name a few. The lectures  are rooted in learning objectives and outcomes that educate students on the current global antisemitism crisis. The best scholars and experts in the emerging field of contemporary antisemitism studies fill a void present in universities across the world by indiscriminately tackling antisemitism from all fronts. The rising forms of antisemitism from the radical Left, Right and political Islam are assessed and contextualized, as  are the lack of historical contextualization of the Holocaust, the delegitimization of the State of Israel, and the entry of anti-Israel sentiment into more moderate discourses in the West. Students who enter the course will be transformed into informed citizens with educated opinions, and  will be encouraged to become advocates for antisemitism education and intellectual combat on the battlefield of ideas. 

The course is based on the expertise that ISGAP has amassed over 18 years of high-level scholarship and academic programming at the top tier of universities around the world. The online course draws upon the ISGAP-Oxford Summer Institute, which hosts the best scholars and experts from the interdisciplinary study of contemporary antisemitism. 

Our goal is to provide a much-needed course on antisemitism by educating the widest possible audience.  This prestigious, credit-bearing course is available online to students worldwide, as well as to anyone who wishes to audit the course or watch it live streamed or simulcast to Jewish Community Centers. The strength of ISGAP’s online course lies in its the ability to reach a critical mass of students, including college students, millennials, and adults. It highlights the current global antisemitism crisis, specifically in the U.S. and Europe, and its dark history as a scourge on humanity.   ISGAP endeavors to transform uninitiated and unconcerned individuals into informed citizens with educated opinions, and to encourage passive students and adults to become advocates for antisemitism education and to combat on the battlefield of ideas.’