Temple Israel of Lawrence to host anti-Semitism talk

Michael D. Cohen of the Simon Wiesenthal Center to speak on Feb. 28


With anti-Semitic hate crimes on the rise, up 57 percent in 2017 from the previous year — a record jump for a one-year period according to the Anti-Defamation League — Temple Israel of Lawrence will host a talk and a question and answer session with Michael D. Cohen, eastern director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.

Cohen will discuss the recent spike in anti-Semitic hate crimes and what can be done to stop it. In his talk, entitled “Anti-Semitism in the Region and What is Being Done About It,” he will address techniques for combating anti-Semitism and what is being done in the New York metropolitan area.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is a global human rights organization that researches the Holocaust and hate crimes to confront anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, and to promote human rights. 

There has also been a dramatic increase in hate crimes against Muslims, African-Americans, Hispanics and immigrants. The center aims to confront these hateful acts by teaching people about prejudices, diversity and tolerance issues and address the importance of social activism, outreach and leadership.

Cohen developed the Simon Wiesenthal Center Government Advocacy Internship Program, which helps college-age youth learn effective activism skills to combat anti-Semitic activities and aids them to lead the fight for zero-tolerance policies for anti-Semitism. Because of these efforts, anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions resolutions have been passed in more than 20 municipalities.

Admission to the “Anti-Semitism in the Region” program is free, but please register in advance by calling Temple Israel of Lawrence (516) 239-1140 or by emailing alan.freedman@tilny.org. The synagogue is at 140 Central Ave. in Lawrence.