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Panel to take on new wave of anti-Jewish bias

With all the noise coming from Congress, who’s examining the new antisemitism locally? “Our panel will talk about the language being used to marginalize Jews,” said Josephine Gon, vice president of the Jewish Community Relations Council.

Four speakers will examine “the mainstreaming of antisemitism,” from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday April 4. RSVPs are requested at JCRC@jewishpalmbeach.org by Monday April 1. Indian Spring Country Club, 11501 El Clair Ranch Road, Boynton Beach is the venue.

This is more “subtle and dangerous” than the age-old bias against Jews, Gon said. “Things are being said about Jews, that if you said them about any group would be condemned,” she added.

Gon noticed people taking part in the women’s march had to check their Jewish identity at the door.

“People identified as Jewish are not being welcomed in progressive movements,” she said. “We wanted to choose panelists in the progressive movement who have experienced being marginalized. People who are standing up and saying: ‘This is not acceptable.’ ” Speakers include:

·    Janet Freedman, resident scholar, Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center;

·    Amanda Berman, founder and executive director of the Zioness Movement

·    Sarah Levin, executive director of JIMENA, supporting Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa;

·    Quentin Hill, a director for A Wider Bridge, a pro-Israel LGBTQ organization.

Jews are being typecast as wealthy and part of white privilege, another topic the panel will examine, she said. “Jews are not all white or all privileged,” she added.

Dr. Heidi Schaeffer, Hadassah Florida,  Anti-Defamation League Florida, Hillel and other groups are sponsoring the panels. The JCRC is the lead organization. “Our purpose is to combat anti-semitism and bigotry, which is on the rise,” Gon said.

An identical panel will be held 7 to 9 p.m. April 3 at the Mandel Jewish Community Center in Palm Beach Gardens.

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