The Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio region for the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs is hosting “How to Deal with Antisemitism,” a series of talks in Columbus May 13 to May 15.

“In this enlightened day and age when we would expect antisemitism to be on the decline, it is on the rise,” Dr. Dale Levy, program organizer and president of the Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio men’s clubs region, said in a news release. “We are holding this weekend summit to learn about and develop tools to properly combat antisemitism in our most prominent areas of exposure: our consumption of information through the media (social and otherwise), our personal and professional lives, and for our children, on their school campus.”

Presenters include representatives from the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, and Hillels at both Miami University in Oxford and Ohio University in Athens. Other participants include JewishColumbus and Ohio Jewish Communities. The Israeli website Honest Reporting will also participate via Zoom.

The weekend’s events begin at 6 p.m. May 13 at Congregation Agudas Achim at 2767 E. Broad St. in Bexley with Shabbat services, followed by dinner and a panel discussion on “Media/Social Media: How to navigate through hyperbole and misinformation for the truth.” The next session is at 9:30 a.m. May 14 at Congregation Tifereth Israel at 1354 E. Broad St. in Columbus, beginning with Shabbat services followed by a kiddush luncheon and a discussion by speakers James Pasch, regional director of the ADL in Cleveland, Lee C. Shapiro, regional director of AJC Cleveland, and Cathy Heldman regional director of AJC Cincinnati on “The Workplace and Community: Ways to deal with antisemitism and differentiate between it and legitimate criticism of Israel.” The final session will take place at 10 a.m. May 15 at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus at 1125 College Ave., with breakfast followed by Robin Judd, an associate professor of history at The Ohio State University in Columbus, and representatives from Honest Reporting discussing “How to handle antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment on campus.”

Joel Marcovitch, president and CEO of JewishColumbus, told the Columbus Jewish News he hopes those attending the weekend remain empowered to “not stay silent” about witnessing or experiencing antisemitism in person or via social media.

“Antisemitism is a societal problem, not just a Jewish problem,” Marcovitch said.

The program marks the first time the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio region has facilitated multiple panels regarding antisemitism, said Jerry Brodsky, president of the B’nai Jeshurun Congregation men’s club in the Cleveland suburb of Pepper Pike. He credited the Columbus Jewish community for its support leading up to the event.

“The support has been easy,” he told the CJN. “You can see that. ... I would call this ‘one-call sponsorships’ because we only had to ask once.”

The events are open to those of all genders and to individuals of any and all religious backgrounds.

“We welcome everyone and look forward to seeing all community members, men and women, as well as our Jewish and non-Jewish friends in attendance,” Levy said in the release.

All three events are available to attend in person. Depending on the facility, however, each event’s COVID-19 protocols could differ. Due to this, “proof of vaccination status may be required by a venue and masks may be required when not eating or drinking,” the release said. Virtual Zoom access is also available for each day.

To attend “A Weekend to Learn and Discuss How to React to Antisemitism” in person or online, guests are asked to pre-register for “meal planning, security purposes and to receive an informational email update immediately prior to the weekend.” To pre-register, visit bit.ly/3MHTfif.


Elizabeth Randolph is freelance writer.

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