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Driving out Darkness in the Heartland: 2024 Regional Summit on Combating Antisemitism

About the Summit

April 2024 will mark 10 years since a gunman, fueled by antisemitism, murdered three innocent civilians on the campus of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and at Village Shalom. Our tight-knit community was left shaken and grief-stricken.

Unfortunately, levels of antisemitism in the US have risen 305% in the decade since (2014-2022). In response, JCRB|AJC is hosting our region’s first-ever Summit on Combating Antisemitism — Driving Out Darkness in the Heartland.

While we cannot undo the past, we can educate others, provide resources to allied institutions, and aim to fight antisemitism together. The Summit will include a Unity Seder in the evening on April 15th and a day-long Symposium on April 16th, featuring AJC CEO Ted Deutch as our keynote speaker among other speakers. Guests are welcome to attend either or both events.

Unity Seder: Monday, April 15, 5:30PM-8:00PM

Symposium: Tuesday, April 16, 8:30AM-4:30PM

 

Scholarships are available by need. To request assistance, please contact Sarah Markowitz Schreiber at sarahm@jewishkc.org

More about the Summit

The Unity Seder will bring community and interfaith partners together to share in the Jewish Passover seder ritual to build bridges and foster greater understanding between different communities by reaffirming our shared commitments to the pursuit of justice and liberation.

Our full-day symposium on Tuesday, April 16th will offer leaders from throughout our region a space to learn about rising antisemitism and mobilize toward action. You'll hear directly from nationally recognized speakers, including:

  • Ted Deutch, AJC CEO and former U.S. Representative; 
  • Holly Huffnagle, AJC's U.S. Director for Combating Antisemitism; 
  • Michael Signer, attorney, author, and former mayor of Charlottesville, VA; and 
  • Kevin Clayton, Senior Vice President, Head of Social Impact and Equity for the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

You'll also learn from local activists and leaders including Gwendolyn Grant, the Urban League of Greater Kansas City's President & CEO.

Speakers will share their best practices for addressing antisemitism, explore manifestations of antisemitism in the 21st century, and facilitate conversations on addressing antisemitism in the Midwest, including in rural areas. Breakout sessions will cover topics including coalition building in a time of deep division, media literacy and navigating online extremism, supporting students and creating safer school environments, and more. 

The full symposium schedule and additional speaker announcements are coming soon!

Vaad-certified kosher meals will be served at each event.

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Contact Hillary Thomas at hillaryt@jewishkc.org for sponsorship information or questions, and contact Sarah Markowitz Schreiber at sarahm@jewishkc.org for program information or questions.

Thank you to our supporters!

White Family Supporting Foundation | Humanities Kansas | Anonymous 

Ann and Tom Isenberg | City of Kansas City, MO

Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City | University of Missouri - Kansas City

John and Jenny Isenberg | Irv and Ellen Robinson

Carol and David Porter | Michele and Harvey Kaplan | Bonnie and Matt Siegel 

Midwest Center for Holocaust Education | Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy | SevenDays | GEHA | Dr. Ken and Sheila Sonnenschein | Jewish Family Services | Congregation Beth Torah | Vicky and Howard Mayer | Lisa and Ken Schifman | Gail and Gary Weinberg


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