The Mental Health Impact of Antisemitism

By Brenda S Faiber, JFS Orlando Therapist

 

 

Last year saw a 34% increase in antisemitic incidents in the United States, the highest number on record since the ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979. Mental health professionals have also seen an increase in the number of those impacted directly and indirectly by antisemitism. Aside from the physical safety concerns, individuals of all ages can experience trauma and esteem issues from exposure to antisemitic imagery.

The ADL defines antisemitism as “the belief or behavior hostile toward Jews just because they are Jewish. It may take the form of religious teachings that proclaim the inferiority of Jews, for instance, or political efforts to isolate, oppress, or otherwise injure them. It may also include prejudiced or stereotyped views about Jews.”

These days, it is difficult to avoid seeing or hearing about antisemitic incidents in our neighborhoods, cities, and nationwide. Many parents do not know how to address the fear or anxiety of their children that are exposed to antisemitism, further increasing stress and trauma within the family. So, how does antisemitism impact a person? It can create trauma, make one question their identity, and threaten one’s physical and emotional safety.

Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando counselors like myself, are trained to recognize and treat many of the symptoms associated with experiencing antisemitism. This is something that will be discussed by mental health professionals and representatives of the Jewish community at the MHCCF and CFAMFT co-sponsored panel discussion “How Antisemitism Impacts Individuals and Families”. In addition to the causes and impact of antisemitism, we will be sharing coping skills for individuals and families, and learning about Judaism as a peoplehood and a culture to gain a better understanding of the impact of antisemitism on mental health.

I invite you to join my fellow panelists Dr. Yudit Kornberg Greenberg, Molly Friedman Losey, and Sam Friedman, for a free live-only event on Thursday, July 21st 6-7pm. For more information on the event, CEU credits, and how to register, please e-mail at Brenda.Faiber@JFSorlando.org.  

Have you been impacted by antisemitism or other forms of discrimination? JFS Orlando’s counselors specialize in a variety of treatment methods and are here to support you. Telehealth counseling appointments available! Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurances are accepted. Sliding scale available for those who do not have insurance or have an insurance we do not accept. Call (407) 644-7671 or complete our online form to request an appointment today!


Brenda S Faiber, MS, LMFT
JFS Orlando Therapist

 

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