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Hope Against Hate


3 Amazing Events: Join us for Any – or All.


Fight or Flight: A Conference on the Modern Jewish Community

12pm to 5pm

$36 Conference fee

* Includes admission to the screening of “Denial” following the conference, and evening presentation by Deborah E. Lipstadt.

Learn More / Breakout Sessions

Hosted by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, this conference will offer a variety of in-depth sessions on the profound challenges—and opportunities—facing Jewish communities today.

With Keynote Speakers Deborah E. Lipstadt, Author of “Denial: Holocaust History on Trial,” and Alan Gill, JDC Executive Vice President Emeritus

Breakout Sessions will include:

  • From Bosnia to Berlin: The Journey of a European Jew
    Dr. William Recant, Assistant Executive Vice President, International Development Programs, JDC
    Anja Olejnik, Representative in Berlin, JDC

    From one European war torn country in the East to a power player in the West, find out how one woman endured the challenges of growing up as a Jew in the unstable and vitriolic environment of Bosnia and Serbia, and what led her to become a change maker in the Jewish community today.

  • Confronting Anti-Semitism: A Local Perspective on Hate-Speech and Threats
    Susan K. DeClercq, U.S. Attorney’s Office – Eastern District of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan
    Daniel L. Lemisch, Acting U.S. Attorney
    Kevin Mulcahy, Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney

    The resurgence of Anti-Semitism has taken a variety of forms, both locally as well as across the globe. This seminar will look at the unique characteristics and distinctions between ‘hate speech’ and those actions that constitute ‘true threats’ to safety and security. Our panel of seasoned law enforcement professionals will also discuss the most effective responses to both of these virulent forms of Anti-Semitism.

  • The Upside of Crisis: Defining European Communities in the Face of Challenge
    Dr. William Recant, Assistant Executive Vice President, International Development Programs, JDC
    Gideon Herscher, JDC Director of International Partnerships

    Within every crisis, lies an opportunity. In the face of great adversity, European Jewish communities are compelled to explore and define what the Jewish community of 2017 will be, despite of and in response to imminent threat.

  • The Rise of Neo-Fascism
    Marilyn Mayo, Research Fellow, Center on Extremism, ADL

    The emergence of neo-facist ideology has unleashed a new wave of nativist and xenophobic ideology, often leading to outright racism and Anti-Semitism. Marilyn Mayo, of the Center on Extremism of the Anti-Defamation League, shares her knowledge and insights on this disturbing new movement.

  • Squeezed from Both Sides: Young Adults and the Challenge of BDS and Anti-Semitism on Campus

    Description Coming Soon.

Register Below

Speaker Biographies

Susan K. DeClercq

U.S. Attorney’s Office – Eastern District of Michigan

Susan K. DeClercq is an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District. She has been chief of the Civil Rights Unit in the Detroit U.S. Attorney’s Office since March 2014. The unit enforces federal civil rights laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, disability and other protected characteristics. The unit has successfully litigated and resolved cases in a variety of contexts including fair housing, access to public accommodations, education and law enforcement misconduct. Before serving in her current position, Ms. DeClercq was a lawyer in the office’s Civil Rights and Defensive Litigation Units. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in September 2004, Ms. DeClercq was an associate at the firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom in Washington, DC, and a law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Hon. Avern Cohn from 1999-2001.

Alan H. Gill

JDC’S Executive Vice President Emeritus

Alan Gill, recently retired CEO of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, is one of the Jewish world’s transformative professional leaders. His vision and career have exemplified and put into direct action the notion of global Jewish responsibility. With more than three decades of Jewish community development, partnership building, global strategy, and innovative resource development expertise, Gill has played a central role in expanding and revolutionizing JDC’s humanitarian operation in more than 70 countries and in Israel.

Gideon Herscher

JDC Director of International Partnerships

For the past 14 years, Gideon’s primary focus at the JDC has been the development and implementation of programs and partnerships for vulnerable populations in Israel and across the globe, including Ethiopia, Rwanda, and most recently, post-earthquake Haiti and Nepal.
Gideon’s responsibilities have extended as far as Africa, where he oversees a number of JDC’s operations in Ethiopia, and as of late played a central role in the establishment of the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda – built to serve as an Israel-inspired orphan-care model for the over 1,200,000 orphans who are survivors of the Rwanda genocide in 1994.

Daniel L. Lemisch

Acting U.S. Attorney

Daniel L. Lemisch is the Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. Mr. Lemisch previously served as the First Assistant, Chief of the Criminal Division and was a Deputy Chief of the Controlled Substance Unit, where he prosecuted cases involving narcotics conspiracies, money laundering and homicide. During his career as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Lemisch has also handled cases involving public corruption, health care fraud and violent crimes. Mr. Lemisch also provides international assistance on behalf of the Department of Justice on trial advocacy, public corruption and criminal procedure code reform.

Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Mr. Lemisch was a trial lawyer and Chief of Appeals at the Oakland County Prosecutors Office in Pontiac, Michigan. While at Oakland County, Mr. Lemisch prosecuted numerous felony jury trials and argued cases before the appellate courts.

Mr. Lemisch also practiced civil law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he specialized in commercial litigation.

Mr. Lemisch graduated from Temple University, in Philadelphia, and studied law at the University of Detroit School of Law.

Deborah E. Lipstadt

After earning a PhD from Brandeis in 1976, Deborah Lipstadt became the first professor to teach Jewish studies at the University of Washington before teaching at UCLA for several years. In 1986, she published Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust 1933–1945, which investigated what Americans knew of Nazi atrocities at the time they happened. In 1993, she became professor at Emory University and published Denying the Holocaust, an analytical study which earned her the National Jewish Book Honor Award and led to President Clinton appointing her to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. David Irving, whom she had named a Holocaust denier in the book, sued her for libel, choosing to bring the case in British court, where the burden of proof would be on Lipstadt, not on himself. Lipstadt chose to remain silent at the trial and instead bring the best historical evidence to speak for her. After five years, the courts ruled in favor of Lipstadt in 2000. She is currently the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University.

Marilyn Mayo

Research Fellow, Center on Extremism ADL

Marilyn Mayo is a research fellow with the Anti-Defamation League, one of the country’s oldest and most respected civil rights organizations. She has been with the ADL for more almost 20 years. Mayo is an expert on right-wing extremists in the United States. She often speaks to the media and law enforcement about the activities of hate groups across the country. She has worked on numerous reports for ADL, including, “Immigrants Targeted: Extremist Rhetoric Moves into the Mainstream,” which examines the virulent anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic rhetoric employed by groups that are perceived as legitimate advocates against illegal immigration in America; “Army of Hate: The Resurgence of Racist Skinheads in America” and “Unraveling Anti-Semitic 9/11 Conspiracy Theories.” Mayo received her B.A. from Barnard College in New York and her M.A. from the City University of New York Graduate Center. She is a native of New York City where she still lives and works.

Kevin Mulcahy

Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney

Kevin Mulcahy is the Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney. Kevin served as Chief of the General Crimes Unit for five years before becoming the Executive AUSA. He has also served as a trial and appellate lawyer in the office. Before joining this office in 2005, Kevin practiced law at the firm of Morrison and Foerster in Palo Alto, California, and served as a prosecutor at the San Diego U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Anja Olejnik

Representative in Berlin, JDC

Growing up in a small city in Bosnia, Anja Olejnik had no contact with other Jews, and didn’t even know she was Jewish until she was in elementary school. But at age 11, when she and her brother were sent to live with their grandmother in Belgrade to escape the war in Bosnia, Anja began to understand – and experience – the importance of Jewish community. “My grandmother suddenly had to take care of two kids, and she needed help,” Anja says. JDC and the Jewish community provided them with clothing, medical care, Passover packages and other assistance. “The Jewish community was the only place where we felt we were welcome and someone cared for us,” Anja recalls. “It meant a lot to us.” Anja adds that some of her relatives who lived in Bosnia were literally saved by JDC, which helped them relocate during the war.

Dr. William Recant

Assistant Executive Vice President, International Development Programs, JDC

Among his responsibilities is the development and coordination of projects relating to the Rescue, Relief and Renewal of Jewish communities worldwide.

Before joining JDC, Will served as the Executive Director of the American Association for Ethiopian Jews where he established the Congressional Caucus for Ethiopian Jews and advocated on behalf of the Ethiopian Jewry movement. The end result of his efforts was Operation Solomon, one of the largest resettlement operations of the 20th century.

Register Below


Special Screening: “Denial”

5pm to 7:30pm

Based on the acclaimed book “Denial: Holocaust History on Trial,” Denial (starring Academy Award® winner Rachel Weisz) recounts Deborah E. Lipstadt’s legal battle for historical truth against David Irving (Timothy Spall) who accused her of libel when she declared him a Holocaust denier.

A minimum pledge of $18 to the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit’s 2017 Annual Campaign is required.

* If you are attending the afternoon conference, or have already made a pledge, no additional donation is necessary.


Deborah E. Lipstadt discusses “Denial: Holocaust History on Trial”

7:30pm to 9pm

Professor Lipstadt shares her spellbinding account of the experiences which led to her book, “Denial: Holocaust History on Trial,” as well as her insights into the lasting legacy of Anti-Semitism in Europe and elsewhere today.

A minimum pledge of $18 to the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit’s 2017 Annual Campaign is required.

* If you are attending the afternoon conference, or have already made a pledge, no additional donation is necessary.


Event Chairs:

Penny Blumenstein
Matthew Lester

Host Committee:

Nora Barron
Michael Berger
Mandell ‘Bill’ Berman z”l (Hon.)
Roselyn Blanck
Richard Broder
Molly Chernow
Kevin Elbinger
Diane Goldstein
Nancy Grosfeld
Doreen Hermelin
Robert Hertzberg
Betsy Heuer
Sue E. Kaufman
Linda Z. Klein
Mark Kowalsky
Dr. Richard Krugel
Hannan Lis
Beverly Liss
Ilana Liss
Steven Margolin
Sandra Muskovitz Danto
Marcie Orley
Dulcie Rosenfeld
Benjamin Rosenthal
Deborah Rosenthal
Marta Rosenthal
Brian Satovsky
Jeffrey Schlussel
Jane Sherman
Ronald Sollish
Laurence Tisdale
Sylvia Wolf
Jeremy Wolfe

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