Words to Action Workshop for teens and parents with Anti-Defamation League

by | Jan 16, 2017 | What’s Happening

Sunday, January 29, 1–4 pm, Sandler Family Campus

In response to the rise in anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment on university campuses, the Anti-Defamation League has created a workshop designed to empower and equip students and their parents with effective and constructive tools to combat incidents of prejudice and bias on campus.

Anti-Defamation League’s professional educators will facilitate the Words to Action workshop presented by the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Simon Family JCC, BBYO, and OSTY. The interactive workshop will include discussion groups and breakout sessions to address these issues:
• Anti-Israel incidents
• Prejudiced comments
• Hate speech/free speech
• Bias in the classroom
• Anti-Semitic vandalism
• Holocaust denial

This program was initiated in the 1980’s when ADL conducted a comprehensive survey of Jewish youth in New England and discovered that middle and high school students were regularly experiencing anti-Semitic comments and harassment. Assaulted with graffiti displaying anti-Semitic slogans in their schools’ halls and classrooms, neighborhoods and communities, many students were not equipped to respond and remained silent.

Regional director of Eastern Region BBYO, Ryan Woloshin, says, “Anti- Semitism is a growing problem facing our teen community and for a lot of our community, high school is the first unfortunate introduction. It is important that our teens, who are leaders to their peers now and will be the leaders of our community in the future, understand how to combat anti-Semitism and strengthen our communal resolve against all forms of racism and bigotry. The ADL is an amazing partner in this work and BBYO enjoys our partnership with them.”

To effectively respond and combat anti-Semitism, it is necessary to understand and strengthen awareness to the myriad ways anti-Semitism manifests itself. Today, for example, a new form is fueled by anti-Israel sentiment. On many college campuses high profile academics and influential student leaders present the Israeli-Palestinian situation in a bias or one-sided manner. Such criticisms against Israel often take on a harsher tone, expressing anti-Israeli rhetoric that crosses the line into anti-Semitism. Students and parents need to recognize and understand the differences between an open exchange of differing points of view and a biased presentation.

This workshop is free and open to the community with RSVP. Contact: WWeissman@ujft.org or call 757-965-6107.

Presented by the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Simon Family JCC, BBYO, and OSTY, Words to Action is part of Cause An Effect, a three event series designed to educate and empower teens and parents, offering resources and tools to respond to anti-Semitism and anti-Israel rhetoric.