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Thanks to Alex Lindholm, a member of our executive committee, my wife and I toured Jewish sites in The Hague last Monday. It was raining when we arrived and the weather was rather unpleasant all day. As it turns out, the dark and dreary skies were a perfect background for what we learned and experienced during our visit.

Our guide was Rabbi Mendel Katzman, the latest in a very long line of religious leaders serving the Jews of the Netherlands. Mendel is also the Chabad rabbi in The Hague and, as such, his garb makes him easily recognizable as a Jew.

And people took notice. At the Holocaust memorial, as Mendel told us about the Nazi deportation and slaughter of close to 80% of the Jewish population of The Hague, a teenage boy threw garbage at us.

A few blocks away, when learning how a nearby synagogue became a mosque, a nearby man managed to clearly and proudly declare himself an anti-Semite as he walked past us.

These kinds of random acts of Jew hatred are unusual in the United States, with the exception of what some of us have been experiencing on college campuses over the past several months. In Europe, however, they happen with alarming regularity and are not always as mild as what we encountered.

The incidents were jarring and frightening, both in the moment and upon reflection. They are reminiscent of the way Jews were commonly treated throughout Europe less than a century ago, and must not be ignored or downplayed. Each of us has a responsibility to do our part in the fight against antisemitism whenever and wherever it appears.

It is also vital that we coordinate efforts to combat antisemitism, a role Global Jewry is already playing. We are connecting leaders of emerging initiatives with each other so they can share ideas and explore ways to collaborate. Additionally, we are introducing them to more established organizations to avoid unnecessary duplication. It is imperative that we ensure our communal resources are being deployed as strategically, effectively and efficiently as possible.

We are also helping members of our collective utilize the most current uses of AI to fight antisemitism. There is a lot happening on that front, and it is important we optimize the use of this latest technology in every way.

A third distressing incident also took place while we were in The Hague on Monday: the lead prosecutor of the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for the Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister. This unprecedented act underscores the depth of the challenge we are facing, one to which the Jewish people must respond with an equally exceptional demonstration of unity, strength and collaboration.

The time has come to put aside our differences and act collectively. That is how we prevail over those seeking to harm us.

Shabbat Shalom and may this be the week the hostages return home,

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