Fighting Anti-Semitism and Protecting Holocaust Survivors

Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) has led efforts to fight for the justice and dignity of Holocaust survivors and combat anti-Semitism at home and abroad throughout his tenure in Congress. Yet Ted’s commitment to these issues span decades.

Before representing large numbers of Holocaust survivors in Congress, he was a Florida State Senator who secured funding for a new Ruth Rales Jewish Family Services senior center.  Before serving in the Florida Senate, he was a leader in national and local Jewish community organizations. And before taking on leadership roles in the Jewish community, he was a student activist at the University of Michigan fighting for the rights of Soviet Jewry.

Now as a Member of Congress, Ted continues to lead efforts against anti-Semitic hatred and violence. In January 2015, Ted delivered an address to the first-ever United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Combating Anti-Semitism. There, he urged the international community to recognize the proliferation of anti-Semitism as a threat not only to their own Jewish communities, but as a precursor to hatred and discrimination against minorities of all backgrounds. Recently, he was appointed to the Steering Committee for the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism, an organization of legislators from all over the world who share a commitment to ending anti-Semitic hatred and bigotry.

During the 114th Congress, Ted also co-founded the Bipartisan Congressional Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism with seven of his House colleagues. The Co-Chairs relaunched the Task Force for the 116th Congress. Together, they work to mobilize their Congress to play a leading role against anti-Semitism by organizing events and other initiatives, including a roundtable discussion with the Ambassadors of Germany, France, and Great Britain and a forum on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. In November 2015, the House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass H.Res. 354, a resolution Ted introduced expressing concern with the growing number of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe and around the world. 

Ted considers representing one of the nation’s largest populations of Holocaust survivors a profound privilege. He sits on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, which serves as the Board of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. In January 2015, Ted introduced a resolution (H.Res. 49) honoring the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the deadliest concentration camp during the Holocaust. His joint amendment ensuring Holocaust remembrance is included in national commemorations of the 75th anniversary of the conclusion of World War II was signed into law in January 2019. In his meetings with European Ambassadors and Heads of State, as well as in direct letters to foreign leaders, Ted regularly raises the need for countries to better meet the needs of Holocaust survivors and do more to ensure property restitution allows for fair compensation of their rightful heirs. For example, Ted led a letter to the Prime of Minister of Hungary opposing the erection of a government-funded memorial to a known Nazi collaborator, which contributed to the international pressure that eventually led to the monument’s postponement.

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