During my tenure as director of the Holocaust Council of Greater MetroWest NJ we did not use the hyphen and uppercase letters (anti-Semitism) in deference to the highest academic standards of Holocaust scholarship (Editorial, “‘Anti-Semitism’ by any other name,” Feb. 6). However, despite my rational arguments, I was unable to convince any of the editors to step into the here and now. NJJN was unrelenting in its insistence that antisemitism be spelled the old way for anything we wanted published in its newspaper.
As a former journalist for the The New York Times, I was aware that every publication uses their own set of standards and I acceded to NJJN’s rules for articles, flyers, etc. I took it in the spirit of “Every Jew makes his own Shabbes.” That said, I made my own Shabbes for correspondence, articles, and academic papers I wrote.
Now that the editors are fully aware that the reasoning behind omitting the hyphen and uppercase is not only sound but actually necessary given the unprecedented antisemitism we face, it is time to listen to the scholars. Or, if they prefer, use the alternative phrase “Jew hatred.”
White Plains, N.Y.
Editor’s Note: NJJN’s style is to write anti-Semitism; however, we’ve left the writer’s preferred spelling, antisemitism, in her letter.