California Legislative Jewish Caucus Applauds Release of the Golden State Plan to Counter Antisemitism

Friday, April 5, 2024

California Legislative Jewish Caucus Applauds Release of the Golden State Plan to Counter Antisemitism


Governor’s Plan Addresses Key Issues, Including Rising Antisemitism on Campuses and Continued Funding for the California Nonprofit Security Grant Program


SACRAMENTO, CA - The California Legislative Jewish Caucus, led by Co-Chairs Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Encino) and Vice Chair Senator Josh Becker (D-Menlo Park), applauds Governor Gavin Newsom for releasing the Golden State Plan to Counter Antisemitism.


At a time of rising hate, the Governor – in consultation with the Jewish Caucus and Jewish communal leaders – has taken the important step of laying out strategies for addressing antisemitism in California. This plan is wide ranging, addressing community security, education, and anti-bias initiatives, among other key issues.


“This plan is essential to combat the rising hate our community is experiencing,” said Senator Scott Wiener, (D-San Francisco), Co-Chair of the Jewish Caucus.  “In recent months we have seen a wave of hate against our community that many thought we would never again see in our lifetime.  It has put our community on edge in a way that few can appreciate if they have not experienced it themselves.  Our community has been particularly shocked by what we have seen in our schools, both K-12 and in higher education.  The Governor’s commitment to safe learning environments and guardrails against antisemitism in the classroom is essential.  Jews have been a vital part of California since its founding, and we will continue to be; this plan acknowledges that the state must protect vulnerable communities.”


“This is a moment that requires decisive action from all levels of government,” said Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D - Encino), Co-Chair of the Jewish Caucus. “We are grateful that Governor Newsom has unveiled a comprehensive approach to combating antisemitism in California, and we look forward to working closely with his Administration, our legislative colleagues, education leaders, law enforcement, and community allies to ensure that we can make real progress in countering hate and bias and protecting our community. The Jewish community – like people of all faiths and backgrounds – must be safe and welcome in the Golden State.”


The Governor’s plan speaks to key issues impacting the Jewish community, including rising antisemitism on college campuses and in K-12 courses, and continued funding for the California State Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP). These initiatives are closely aligned with legislative and budget priorities of the Jewish Caucus. In particular, SB 1287 (Glazer) calls for strengthening codes of conduct, enforcement, and reporting procedures at institutions of higher education. The Governor also committed to addressing hate in primary schooling, a key concern of our Jewish community. It is vital that every student – regardless of background – is able to learn safely in California, free from bias, bigotry, or discrimination.  


Jews are estimated to account for approximately 3% of California’s population, but have been the target of more than 60% of religiously-motivated hate crimes. Antisemitic attacks have surged since the October 7th terrorist attacks against Israel. Nearly two-thirds of American Jews feel less secure in the United States than they did a year ago, according to a recent national survey. Governor Newsom and the Jewish Caucus have prioritized immediate and long-term strategies to counter acts of hate in California, and to use education as a tool to build awareness and mutual understanding. This has included strengthening Holocaust and genocide education, as well as initiatives to combat hate online.

“I applaud the Governor for putting out a comprehensive plan covering K-12, higher Ed, and other areas where we have seen an increase in antisemitism,” said Senator Josh Becker (D-Menlo Park), Vice Chair of the Jewish Caucus.  “Even in 2022, 62% of religious-based hate crimes in California were committed against the Jewish community.  And, as we know, the number of hate crimes against the Jewish community has increased dramatically since October 7th.  Jews make California Stronger.  I have seen how antisemitism can manifest in the schools of my children.  Conversely, I have seen how our community can rally and the resiliency we bring to the table.  It is good to have allies like Governor Newsom in our corner.”