Panel Presentation:
Antisemitism as Jew-Hatred: A Psychohistorical Enigma – Part 2
• Susanne B. Seperson: Antisemitism and Identity: Theoretical Perspectives (60 min)

Abstract: This presentation explores how identity is socially constructed and negotiated as well as how the hated and haters’ identities are intertwined by reviewing sociological and psychological literature, relevant history, and biography.

Identity is both given and chosen. It matters how you see yourself and how others see you. It matters how you want to see yourself. One chooses to be an antisemite or not. We have a responsibility to remain true to our best possible self so that collectively we can have a positive impact. Although we can do this only one person at a time, collectively we influence the whole.  Antisemitism must never be permitted to be normalized. It will require the concerted effort of political, religious, and social media influencers to change the trajectory. Language, culture, and history demonstrate both the grip of the past and the possibilities of the future, including a decline in antisemitism. The choice is ours.

Bio: Susanne B. Seperson, PhD, represents Generations United, Washington, DC, a non-governmental organization at the United Nations. She is the Vice Chair of the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, a Substantive Committee of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations and was the 2016 Co-Chair of the United Nations International Day of Older Persons. She is also a founder of the NGO Committee to End Antisemitism and Promote Peace, which was approved by CoNGO last year. Susanne was the Chair of the Long Island chapter of the New York State Intergenerational Network, and a Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at Dowling College, Oakdale, NY.

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