To the Editor:

Andrés Spokoiny’s op-ed, “In the Face of Growing Antisemitism, Silence from Secular Philanthropy Is Unacceptable” (October 19), powerfully captured why philanthropy must speak out against the recent rise in hatred against the Jewish community.

Some grant makers, such as the Ford Foundation, have released strong statements denouncing antisemitism and showing solidarity with the Jewish community. But foundations that advance a social-justice and human-rights agenda, including Ford, the Open Society Foundations, and the Tides Foundation, should also make the advancement of Jewish people’s human rights and welfare a funding priority. In the absence of that, their commitment to human rights must be called into question.

Antisemitism and hate crimes against Jews have increased dramatically since Hamas massacred Israeli civilians on October 7. But both were already on the rise during the last two years — and in the wake of events such as the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville and the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. The only acceptable response from grant makers is a substantive programming commitment in support of the human rights, equity, safety, and freedom of Jewish Americans. It is long overdue.

Noam Schimmel
Lecturer, International and Area Studies


University of California, Berkeley