This weekend, a very special guest will be speaking at the National Museum of Jewish American History. Natan Sharansky, the acclaimed author and human rights activist who also spent nine years in Soviet prisons during the movement to free Soviet Jews will be making an appearance at the Museum on March 15th, which also happens to be the 43rd anniversary of the day of his arrest by the KGB. “Power of Protest: How the Society Jewry Movement Can Influence and Inspire the Movement to Combat Anti-Semitism” will be open to all Philadelphians.
“Growing up as a Jew in the Soviet Union, I experienced anti-semitism intimately. The Soviet Jewry Movement freed my family. I am so fortunate to be a part of this program that brings together two of my lifelong passions: reminding the world about the triumph of Soviet Jewry Movement and fighting antisemitism. Hearing from Sharansky reminds us of the compelling connections between the movement to free Soviet Jews and today’s civil rights movements,” said Dr. Misha Galperin, Interim CEO at the National Museum of American Jewish History in the release.
The National Museum of Jewish American History is presenting this event in partnership with The Combat Anti-Semitism Movement, Israeli American Council and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. According to the release, last December, The Combat Anti-Semitism Movement (CAM) launched its VENTURE CREATIVE CONTEST, in partnership with CAMERA, AISH, Artist4Israel, Tikvah Fund, JNS, ICC, American Sephardic Federation and the Galila Foundation aiming to crowd-source new solutions to help fight anti-semitism. More than 140 individuals and organizations submitted proposals for the contest, building a creative hub to fight anti-semitism in a very unique way. Thirty-seven recipients will receive grants from CAM, with a total amount of $100,000 being distributed. Awards will be presented by CAM to four of the recipients, including the winner of the Sharansky award, at NMAJH.
“The CAM Venture Creative Contest offers an exceptional opportunity for people of all backgrounds to be engaged in the fight against anti-semitism. New solutions to combating anti-semitism will only exist if a larger and more diverse group of people catalyze new and creative ideas to address this age-old hatred,” said Sacha Roytman-Dratwa, Director of Combat Anti-Semitism Movement in the release.
Sharansky’s life itself is an incredible draw to the powerful event. After being arrested and release, he moved to Israel and served in four Israeli governments, received the Israel Prize, and has also been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Joining Sharansky on March 15 will be Elan Carr and Malcolm Hoenlein. Carr acts as Special Envoy for the Secretary of State and Hoenlein serves as CEO/Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and has been doing so since 1986.
The event will also feature a Kosher dinner. “Power of Protest” will also be presented in memory of Renée Zuritsky, wife of longtime trustee Joseph Zuritsky. According to the release, Renée, along with Joe, was to be a co-chair of this event, which brought together two of the Zuritskys’ significant causes: Soviet Jewry and fighting against antisemitism.
For more information on the event visit nmajh.org