Statement & Analysis of Golden State Plan to Counter Antisemitism

Below, find ICAN’s statement in response to the release of Governor Newsom’s Golden State Plan to Counter Antisemitism. You will also find several analyses that include:

  1. Summary of Funded Initiatives
  2. Overview of Data and Statistics
  3. Analysis by Target Audience

ICAN Endorses Governor Newsom’s Golden State Plan to Counter Antisemitism

Los Angeles, CA – April 8, 2024 – The Israeli-American Civic Action Network (ICAN) fully endorses Governor Gavin Newsom’s Golden State Plan to Counter Antisemitism, a crucial initiative aimed at addressing the alarming surge in antisemitic incidents across California. We believe that this comprehensive plan reflects the Governor’s dedication to safeguarding the state’s Israeli-American and Jewish communities while promoting a culture of civility and unity.

We especially commend Governor Newsom for his specific acknowledgment of areas where ICAN has contributed to this plan, underscoring the importance of our partnership and innovative policy initiatives, including:

  • Highlighting Israel: The mention of Israel and Israeli-Americans, topics too often avoided by others, reaffirms the state’s commitment to fostering an inclusive community that acknowledges all Californians.
  • California-Israel MOU: The reference to the California-Israel Memorandum of Understanding, an initiative that members of our executive team had the honor of leading, spotlights the enduring and productive collaboration between California and Israel.
  • Commission on the State of Hate: The inclusion of the Commission on the State of Hate, an initiative sponsored by ICAN in 2021, also references our active participation in the student hearing held after 10/7, further demonstrating our role in shaping policy and dialogue around combating hate crimes in California.

The Golden State Plan to Counter Antisemitism serves as a proactive blueprint for creating a future where every Californian can live free from fear of hate or discrimination. The plan’s strategic actions to hold perpetrators accountable, enhance awareness of protections for victims, and foster collaboration across state agencies are critical for a holistic approach to combating antisemitism.

Celebrating a Decade of the California-Israel Strategic Partnership

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the California-Israel Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and we reflect on a decade of fruitful collaboration that has strengthened ties between our state and Israel. This landmark agreement, signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 5, 2014, in Mountain View, California, has been a cornerstone of intergovernmental, economic, scientific, and academic cooperation.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and California Governor Jerry Brown sign the California-Israel Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Mountain View, California, on March 5, 2014.

Recognizing this agreement in the Golden State plan is particularly meaningful, considering the substantial Israeli-American community in California, with Los Angeles alone being home to the largest Israeli population outside of Israel. In 2021, ICAN produced a special report showcasing the unique benefits of this agreement. A copy is available here.

“During my tenure as the political officer at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles, I was deeply involved in coordinating stakeholders developing the foundation for this bilateral agreement. I had the privilege of leading the Israeli negotiating team and co-authoring the California-Israel Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) along with many subsequent supplementary and sector-specific agreements. This MOU has been the pillar supporting a stronger California-Israel relationship, driving innovation and collaboration that continues to benefit both governments today,” said Dillon Hosier, CEO of ICAN.

Israeli Minister of Science Ophir Akunis and Jonathan Thomas, PhD, JD, the President and CEO of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), signed a stem cell cooperation research agreement in Beverly Hills, California, on February 6, 2016.

ICAN’s Role in the Establishment of the Commission on the State of Hate

In 2021, ICAN proudly sponsored AB 1126, the bill that led to the creation of the Commission on the State of Hate, with then Assemblymember Richard Bloom. This landmark legislation marked a significant step forward in addressing hate crimes and fostering a more inclusive California. We are particularly proud of the diverse communities that supported this legislation, demonstrating a unified stance against hate and discrimination.

From left to right: Assemblymember Richard Bloom, Governor Gavin Newsom, and Dillon Hosier on October 6, 2021 following the signing of AB 1126 establishing the Commission on the State of Hate.

Moreover, we are honored by the specific mention of ICAN’s participation in the Commission’s Community Forum in Los Angeles last November. This event provided a crucial platform for student voices to be heard and to support meaningful dialogue on combating hate in our communities. 

ICAN’s involvement in this hearing underscores our commitment to empowering all Californians to stand against hate and work towards a more equitable and just society.

Addressing Concerns Surrounding Ethnic Studies in California

The Golden State Plan to Counter Antisemitism acknowledges the expansion of ethnic studies and the creation of an inclusive model curriculum as part of the state’s efforts to promote respect for diverse cultures and combat hate. The plan outlines the statewide ethnic studies curriculum requirement, with courses expected to be offered in California high schools beginning in the 2025-26 school year. It is anticipated that a one-semester course in ethnic studies will be required for graduation by the 2029-30 school year, with revisions made to ensure the inclusivity of Jewish Americans and other groups.

ICAN acknowledges the efforts to create a more balanced and inclusive ethnic studies curriculum. However, we remain concerned about the potential challenges that may arise if the curriculum does not adequately address the complexities and nuances of Jewish history and experiences. 

It is crucial that ethnic studies curricula not only give students a chance to see themselves in the fabric of our state but also foster a genuine understanding and respect for all communities, including Jewish communities.

We emphasize the need for continued engagement and collaboration with the Jewish Caucus, Legislature, and Governor’s Office to strengthen the guardrails established by AB 101.

Call to Action

ICAN urges individuals, organizations, and communities across California to actively engage in the implementation of this crucial plan, including:

  • Support Legislative and Budgetary Measures: Advocate for the policies that bolster protections for Jewish communities and all vulnerable groups.
  • Promote Education and Awareness: Participate in initiatives that foster mutual respect and understanding, challenge prejudice, and promote inclusivity.
  • Enhance Collaboration: Work alongside law enforcement, educational institutions, and community organizations.

ICAN welcomes Governor Newsom’s Golden State Plan to Counter Antisemitism as a meaningful step forward in addressing the challenges faced by California’s Jewish communities.

As we move forward, we will continue to advocate for policies and initiatives that promote understanding, respect, and safety for all Californians. 


Summary of funded initiatives

  • $40 million in state funding this year for nonprofit security grants (p.3)
  • $150 million invested in multi-year Stop the Hate Program (p.7)
  • Approximately $14 million awarded to 62+ ethnic media organizations (p.7)
  • $7 million from UC system for emergency mental health resources/programs (p.4)
  • $20 million additional funding for nonprofit security grants in October 2023 (p.5)
  • $10 million for increased police presence at places of worship in October 2023 (p.5)
  • $46.1 million for California Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program in 2022-23 budget (p.6)
  • $20 million total for anti-bias education grants for K-12 schools since 2020-21 (p.11)
  • $1.9 million in 2022 budget for CA Teachers Collaborative for Holocaust/Genocide Education (p.12)
  • $2.1 million in 2023-24 budget for Museum of Tolerance renovations (p.13)
  • $3 million in 2022-23 budget for Holocaust Center renovations in San Francisco (p.13)

Overview of Data & Statistics

  • Jewish people 3% of CA population but 62.4% of religious bias hate crimes in 2022 (p.1)
  • 3,697 antisemitic incidents in U.S. in 2022 (all-time high) per ADL (p.1)
  • 24.3% increase in anti-Jewish bias events in CA from 2021 to 2022 (152 to 189) (p.1)
  • Over 33,000 Californians born in Israel (p.5)
  • $1.96 billion in exports from CA to Israel in 2022 (p.5)
  • $1.54 billion in imports from Israel to CA in 2022 (p.5)
  • 35 Israeli “unicorn” companies headquartered in CA (p.5)
  • 20% of acquisitions of Israeli companies worldwide by CA companies (p.5)
  • 6,743 jobs at 131 Israeli-owned enterprises in CA in 2022 ($807m in wages) (p.5)
  • Around 100 community anti-discrimination training sessions by Civil Rights Dept in 2023 (p.9)
  • Outreach to 38 District/City Attorney offices by DOJ Hate Crimes Coordinator since Oct 2023 (p.9)
  • 75,000+ CA teachers received diversity training from Museum of Tolerance (p.13)
  • 125,000+ CA criminal justice professionals received training from Museum of Tolerance (p.13)

Analysis by Target Audience

Here’s an analysis of the key points in the plan categorized by the target audiences they are focused on:

K-12 Education

  • Anti-bias training grants for schools ($20 million total since 2020-21) (p.11)
  • Tracking antisemitism instances through Uniform Complaint Procedure reports (p.11)
  • Holocaust and genocide education initiatives (p.11-12)
    • Governor’s Council on Holocaust and Genocide Education
    • CA Teachers Collaborative for Holocaust/Genocide Education
  • Ethnic studies curriculum requirement with Jewish American lessons (p.12-13)
  • Ensuring educational materials represent diversity (p.13)

Higher Education

  • Addressing antisemitism, bias, harassment on university campuses (p.3-4)
    • UC creating civil rights office, convening on safety
    • CSU/CCC monitoring and fair implementation of policies
  • Strengthening student codes of conduct (p.3)

Law Enforcement

  • DOJ Hate Crimes Coordinator supporting local offices (p.9)
  • Law enforcement summit on hate crime investigation/prosecution (p.9-10)
  • Call for improved local hate crime data reporting (p.10)

Impacted Communities

  • State Nonprofit Security Grant Program for religious/community groups (p.5)
  • $150 million Stop the Hate program for prevention, victim services (p.7)
  • Commission on State of Hate public forums (p.7-8)
  • CA vs. Hate hotline and outreach to Jewish, Muslim, Arab American groups (p.8-9)
  • Civil Rights Dept anti-discrimination training sessions (p.9)
  • Expanding awareness of civil rights protections (p.9)
  • DOJ outreach specialists sharing victim resources (p.14)
  • DOJ/Civil Rights roundtables with impacted groups (p.14-16)

General Public

  • Partnerships with ethnic media on Stop the Hate awareness (p.7)
  • Assessment of online hate activity in California (p.8)
  • Strengthened hate symbol penalties (p.10)
  • Social media content moderation transparency law (p.10)
  • Promoting interfaith collaboration through service projects (p.10-11)

State Agencies

    • Executive Order on embedding equity analyses (p.13)
    • Coordinating efforts across administration (p.3)
    • Agency communications promoting genocide education efforts (p.11)
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