Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK: Semitism, anti-Semitism and antisemitism

 

January 15, 2021



There are a couple articles in this week’s issue that use “antisemitism” rather than anti-Semitism. In fact, one writer insisted that Heritage use the spelling lowercased with no hyphen.

This led to the question “why?” and an interesting dig into the history of the words anti-Semitism and Semitism.

First, Heritage sought the answer by asking Marcia Jo Zerevitz, who used “antisemitism” in the article “January is Florida Jewish History Month.” She gladly supplied her answer:

“This is currently the appropriate scholarly way to spell the word, which was coined in 1879 by W...



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