Chaim Y. Botwinick

‘Never Again’ Means Never Ever Again!


Throughout our history, Jews have been the target of antisemitism, violence, hatred and pogroms.

Since the horrendous atrocities of October 7th, our Jewish communities have unfortunately experienced and endured a significant increase in global antisemitism, the likes of which have not been realized since the Holocaust.

This daunting resurgence of hate and antisemitic bigotry includes violent demonstrations, protests and rallies, incidents of physical violence and attacks on members of our Jewish community, as well as continued unabashed  hatred and disdain for Jews.

These horrific events are not one-off attacks, but rather well planned, orchestrated and well financed acts of hatred and vile discrimination. They are encouraged and instigated by ignorant, uneducated wanna-be pathetic hate groups; and, they are deeply rooted and anchored in a level of Jew hatred which has been simmering below the surface of our society for decades, just ready to explode at the slightest opportunity.

The barbaric murderous acts of October 7th ignited a timber box of dry matches just waiting to catch fire and spread.

There are members of our Jewish community who feel that it is essential that this rise in antisemitism be confronted and met with consternation, dialogue, rational discourse, education, debate and civil discussion.  Yet, there a growing number who are becoming less tolerant and patient and who  are now strongly advocating that our Jewish community do everything in its power to challenge and confront this metastasizing cancer through any means possible… including disruption and direct confrontation.

The days of  pre-Nazi Germany where Jews were attacked, beaten and publicly humiliated in the streets of Europe are long gone. To be sure, today’s Jewish community refuses to be treated in the manner they were treated just prior to the Holocaust in Europe. We are no longer the frightened meek and weak Jews of the Shtetl in Europe cowering to vicious antisemitic street mobs and gangs, while being usher into gas chambers like helpless sheep. History has taught us how to fight back and how to respond to these atrocities and acts of hatred  directly and forcefully.

The often used term Never again, must now mean NEVER EVER AGAIN.

We have reached our tolerance saturation point/threshold where we will no longer accept this status quo.

Today’s Jewish community in the United States remains strong,vibrant and resilient. We must never ever succumb to the well-funded mobs of antisemitic hoodlums who lurk like deranged animals on college campuses, schools, synagogues or in our neighborhoods. We must no longer be frightened to wear kippot in public, walk to shul on Shabbat with pride and confidence or promote and celebrate our Jewish identity proudly while displaying our public  support for the country, land and State of  Israel.

.“Standing with Israel” must mean exactly that. We stand proud; we stand committed; and we stand ready to sacrifice for our homeland and to live in peace. We have no option and there are no acceptable alternatives, lest we cave into those decrepit individuals and hate groups who are committed to our destruction and annihilation. We will no longer be terrorized or be fearful to walk the streets of our neighborhoods. Never Again now means Never Ever Again!

Friends, the world needs to now know that it is no longer open season on Jews. We will no longer continue to tolerate open hatred and public discrimination. This ugly and sinister train of Jew-hatred has left the station right after the Shoa’ and it is no more.

Finally,  by not confronting antisemitism directly and head-on,  we will only enable, empower, encourage, motivate and inspire the spread  of this societal toxic poison and embed it even  deeper into the fabric of our society. We cannot and must not let this happen. In fact, we should be forbidden to allow this to happen.

The question therefore remains…., how should we as a Jewish community and as proud Jews fight back.?

It is important to note that I am not at all suggesting or recommending any form of civil disobedience or violence….although there are times when I truly feel and believe  that we must fight fire with fire. I am also not suggesting responses which are physically violent, or those which will cause violent outcomes. That should not be an option or our first choice.

First and foremost, we must do everything in our power to educate our students, faculty, parents and the public regarding the history and impact of antisemitism on community and society; and about  the history of Israel as well as the history of the middle-east with laser sharp factual accuracy. To this end, we must ensure that our schools and educational institutions teach about and promote civility, respect and tolerance and are equipped with the most up-to-date and state-of-the-art curricular materials and staffing in these specific targeted areas.. These curricula, must clearly build and support the “case for Israel” and while  presenting and supporting a level of moral clarity. This must also include an in-depth perspective regarding the causes, impact and consequences of antisemitism and discrimination on our society and on the social well being of our society.

It is beyond evident from the signage and chants at rallies and demonstrations as well as through interviews, and social media posts that there is a significant lack of knowledge and understanding regarding history. Today’s alternative historical facts are derived from ignorance and over-reliance on  inaccurate, biased and hate-generating  5 minute Tick-Tok history lessons as well as well financed social media posts. This must be challenged and addressed directly.

In addition to the launching of a comprehensive anti-discrimination  education campaign throughout our schools, social media platforms and other forms news media, we should seriously consider the following 14 point course of  action:

  1. the creation of a comprehensive national communication and public information campaign in order to more effectively and accurately produce, promote and market pro-Israel print and digital material. For whatever reason, Israel has not necessarily been successful or effective in its hasbara and the manner in which it promotes, supports and conveys its importance, centrality and positive  contributions to the world. They have the content and talking points, but fall short and fail in communicating them to the public.
  2. work closely with city, state and federal law enforcement authorities in order to help document domestic acts of antisemitism in our communities;
  3. identify and recruit  pro-bono criminal legal counsel willing and able to prosecute cases relating to racial slurs, acts of antisemitism  and antisemitic public statements …with the intent to incite violence against the Jewish community;
  4.  offer in-service teacher and administrator workshops, seminars and consultations detailing how to effectively teach students (in all private and public schools) about harmful and negative racial discrimination and  antisemitism;
  5. provide subsidized  solidarity trips and missions to Israel, specifically designed to increase  awareness and consciousness regarding support for Israel; and to physically witness the horrific aftermath of the October 7th bloodbath and massacre against Israel.
  6. document violent demonstrators in order to determine whether they are living in the States on Immigrant student visas. And, if they are, demand that the State Department and the US Department of Immigration deport these students and adults back to their countries of origin; No more catch and release for these groups. The new law must be amended to become catch and deport!
  7. demand more  protection by police and law enforcement personnel in order to allow Jewish groups to have safe spaces for peaceful pro-Israel rallies;
  8. hold politicians and elected officials accountable for prosecuting violent protesters .and those advocating for violence and civil disobedience against the Jewish community.;
  9. demand harsh legal prosecution for acts of antisemitism;
  10.  photograph and video violent protesters in order to document their activities  (at rallies and demonstrations) for inclusion in an international database. All database photos, videos and names should be filed, forwarded and shared with the press, employment and recruitment agencies, current places of employment, colleges and universities, law enforcement agencies, the FBI,  DOJ and the State Department.
  11. make antisemitic statements, comments and other discriminatory racial slurs and actions  on college and university campuses illegal; and, they must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
  12. apply pressure on legislatures in order to ensure the introduction and passing of legislation which makes public antisemitic comments, statements  and/or pronouncements a federal offense with harsh consequences.
  13.  train and educate  responsible adult members of the Jewish community in the areas of firearms training and self defense.
  14. create an Israel Ambassadors program which is designed to help create and support emerging Jewish leaders in support of Israel and to combate acts of antisemitism in our communities.

These proposed initiatives (and many others)  will hopefully stimulate and inspire more bold and creative thinking about ways in which we can individually and collectively battle the evil of anti-Israel sentiment and antisemitism.

Since October 7th, our Jewish community has tolerated enough. We will no longer allow these recent levels of antisemitic hatred go unchallenged. To be sure, the longer we wait, the worst it can become.

Again, I am not GD forbid advocating for push-back violence; but rather a more aggressive, measured and assertive laser focused coordinated reaction and response within the boundaries and parameters of our democratic legal system..

Now is the time to act and to ensure that Never Again means NEVER EVER AGAIN!

We cannot afford to wait or to put these actions on the back-burner…for the longer we wait, the more difficult it will become to challenge and confront this  growing nightmare. You can’t put the genie back into the bottle….but, you can try to confront it head-on.

In the words of a dear Holocaust survivor who I recently befriended….. ” don’t let our enemies do to us what they tried desperately to do during the Holocaust. We survived the Shoa for a reason….. so that we can serve as witnesses to the atrocities of the past, and so that we can help ensure that these atrocities never ever happen again in our lifetime”

It is our hope and prayer that these atrocities will never ever be repeated.  One way to achieve this goal is to remove the head of the snake that seeks to destroy us.

As we approach Chag Pesach, we are reminded of how HaShem delivered us from bondage and slavery with a strong outstretched arm. We remember the trials and tribulations of when we wondered in the midbar, and we recall the amazing nissim  (miracles) we all experienced as HaShem guided us, protected us and ensured us safe passage to our promised land  –  Eretz Yisrael. 

May HaShem  continue bless acheinu  bnai yisrael with bracha and hatzlacha as we pursue a path of shalom and achdut; and may HaShem protect the chayalim and chayalot who are protecting our country as we pray desperately for the healthy release of the hostages from captivity.

Am Yisrael Chai

About the Author
Dr. Chaim Botwinick is a senior executive coach and an organizational consultant . He served as president and CEO of the central agency for Jewish education in Baltimore and in Miami; in addition to head of school and principal for several Jewish day schools and yeshivot. He has published and lectured extensively on topics relating to education, resource development, strategic planing and leadership development. Dr. Botwinick is Author of “Think Excellence: Harnessing Your Power to Succeed Beyond Greatness”, Brown Books, 2011
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