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2019 Annual Assessment

In the past year, leaders of the world’s major Jewish communities – Israel and the United States – as well as of smaller communities were chiefly concerned with domestic political developments in their respective countries, and with the impact of these developments on the practice, image, robustness, and identity of the Jews. At the same time, all of the communities outside Israel experienced growing concern about intensifying anti-Semitic discourse and its periodic eruptions of violence, sometimes deadly, directed at Jews. This duality – in which the individual communities looked inward while also sharing an awareness of the broader anti-Semitic menace – posed a complex challenge to community leaders. The desire to strengthen cooperation in the face of a shared threat (existential challenges to Israel’s security and Jew hatred) frequently proved hard to realize due to major differences in outlook and in the specific needs arising from local developments.