On Monday, with a Holocaust survivor present, Virginian Governor Glenn Youngkin signed a declaration on the steps of the Executive Mansion in Richmond to acknowledge the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.
Back in February, the Virginia legislature passed the bill adopting the definition. More than 30 U.S. states have now officially recognized the IHRA definition, either by the legislative process, or by executive order.
“We will not allow this hatred to grow in Virginia,” Governor Youngkin said on Monday..
Many young children joined the governor for the ceremony, symbolizing the need for future generations to stay alert to help prevent antisemitism from spreading.
Governor Youngkin also issued a proclamation of Jewish American Heritage Month as well at the end of the ceremony.
“This specific working definition of antisemitism is one of the greatest tools we have in our belt to combat Jew-hatred in all its various forms,” said Elan Carr, a member of the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) Advisory Board who was present at Monday’s ceremony and advised on the legislation’s passage into law. “I’m proud that the Commonwealth of Virginia has taken this practical step that will help educate our citizens on the antisemitic behavior that is often found hiding in plain sight. Hatred of any people group has no place here.”
Gathering more acknowledgements of this working definition, which helps identify modern iterations of Jew-hatred, has been a top priority for CAM. More than 1,100 governing bodies and institutions have adopted the IHRA definition, including nations, states, cities, universities, political parties, and other entities.