(New York Jewish Week) — Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt was a guest on the popular New York radio show The Breakfast Club on Wednesday, discussing the recent rise in antisemitism and the need to repair Black and Jewish relations.
“I believe you call people in before you call people out,” Greenblatt said, explaining to hosts Charlamagne Tha God and DJ Envy how he responds to antisemites. “I don’t believe in cancel culture, I believe in counsel culture.”
Greenblatt’s hour-long appearance was intended “to engage with different communities and learn from each other to prevent hatred from spreading,” according to an ADL spokesperson. The Breakfast Club, which originates at New York’s WWPR-FM (Power 105.1) and is syndicated nationally, has over 8 million listeners a month — more than half of them Black — according to Nielsen data. Its YouTube channel has over five million subscribers.
His appearance came after a period in which rapper Kanye West made headlines by spewing antisemitic comments and Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving promoted an antisemitic film.
“With antisemitism rising to unprecedented levels in the United States, and antisemitic conspiracy theories being normalized in high-profile ways, it is increasingly urgent to have thoughtful, in-depth conversations that are accessible to large, diverse audiences,” the ADL spokesperson added.
The on-air conversation that ensued was a sometimes tense but largely illuminating dialogue on the relationship between the Jewish and Black community.
— The Breakfast Club (@breakfastclubam) December 7, 2022
Early on in the program, Charlamagne Tha God — who in 2020 was criticized by Greenblatt for saying that “Jews have the power” — called out the ADL, saying that the organization “doesn’t have the same passion for anti-Blackness as it does antisemitism.”
Greenblatt responded that the organization was created “to protect Jewish people.”
“That’s why we exist,” Greenblatt said. “And so, at a time when antisemitism has literally reached an all time high, we’re putting a lot of resources on that.”
He added that those resources are going toward fighting extremists who “want to kill Black people and Jewish people.”
“These right-wing extremists, they’re the ones who are rejoicing, while they proceed, Black and Jewish people are fighting,” Greenblatt said. “They’re the ones who want to see Kanye and the ADL, or Charlemagne and whomever going at it, because they deeply, passionately hate both of us.”
Charlamagne also asked Greenblatt about the Black Hebrew Israelites, a religious sect whose members recently marched outside of Barclays Center in support of Irving. (In the aftermath of Irving’s tweet, the ADL attempted to work with Irving — who initially donated $500,000 to the organization — but the organization did not accept the donation after he did not apologize for his actions in a press conference.)
“They would say y’all aren’t Jews?” Charlamagne said. “They would say white people are not the original Jews?”
Greenblatt responded, pointing to an attack by two Black Hebrew Israelites on a New Jersey kosher grocery store which left six people dead in December 2019. “You’re entitled to believe whatever you want,” Greenblatt responded, “but I think we need to recognize that rhetoric can have real-world consequences.”
One such “consequence” is an explosion of antisemitic and hateful statements on the YouTube post of the show. While a few online commentators praised Greenblatt’s appearance on the show (“the conversation was all love”), the majority were less charitable.
“What this year taught me is that with The Tribe you need to act like you are literally in the presence of Darth Vader,” one comment said.
“I’m all for unity — unity in agreeing to kick Greenblatt and his fellow rats at the ADL out of this country,” another wrote.
“This guy proves Ye was right about everything,” another said, referring to West, who recently told conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on his Infowars program that “I like Hitler.”
The ADL spokesperson said not to “put much credence into what people are saying in the comments section on social media.”
“We absolutely have heard much positive feedback from Jonathan’s appearance,” the spokesperson added. “Antisemites, bigots and haters routinely come after us no matter what platform we are engaging on, and we refuse to let a fear of reactions from antisemites and others prevent us from doing the important work of combating hate. If we did listen, the antisemites would win.”
The ADL does have a relationship with multiple Black civil rights and justice reform groups including the NAACP and the Urban League.
“In all my offices, we’re working with Black-led organizations to fight anti-Black racism, to be a part of legislation, to be a part of initiatives,” Greenblatt said on the program.
The ADL has a controversial history in progressive spaces. Dozens of prominent organizations, including many Jewish ones, have signed an open letter called “Drop The ADL” which says the organization “has a history and ongoing pattern of attacking social justice movements.” At the same time, right-wing groups have attacked the ADL for promoting “far-left” ideas and prioritizing “marginalized communities” over Jewish community issues.
The Breakfast Club did not respond to a request for comment.
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Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.
Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary
By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”
Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)
Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station
This is a developing story.
(JTA) — Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded four in a terror attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, the Israeli army reported.
An Israeli civilian returning fire at the scene of the attack on Tuesday killed one of the attackers, who emerged from a vehicle, and two others fled.
Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, said one of those wounded was in serious condition. The gunmen, while in the vehicle, shot at a guard post at the entry to the settlement, and then continued to the gas station which is also the site of a snack bar. A nearby yeshiva went into lockdown.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced plans to convene a briefing with top security officials within hours of the attack. Kan reported that there were celebrations of the killing in major West Bank cities and in the Gaza Strip, initiated by terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas said the shooting attack Tuesday was triggered by the Jenin raid.
The shooting comes as tensions intensify in the West Bank. A day earlier, Israeli troops raiding the city of Jenin to arrest accused terrorists killed five people.
The Biden administration spoke out over the weekend against Israel’s plans to build 4,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also finalized plans to transfer West Bank building decisions to Bezalel Smotrich, the extremist who is the finance minister. Smotrich has said he wants to limit Palestinian building and expand settlement building.
Kan reported that the dead terrorist was a resident of a village, Urif, close to Huwara, the Palestinian town where terrorists killed two Israeli brothers driving through in February. Settlers retaliated by raiding the village and burning cars and buildings.
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