Community Briefs: ADL Partners With National Urban League on Voting Rights Project


ADL, National Urban League to Partner on Voting Rights Project
The Anti-Defamation League and National Urban League announced Aug. 31 that the organizations will join forces to strengthen the relationship between the American Jewish and African American communities.

The partnership will advocate around issues of mutual concerns related to racism, anti-Semitism and other forms of hate.

Locally, the two organizations and their young professional cohorts will initially focus on voter outreach and registration via a project called “Our Time, Our Vote,” Anti-Defamation League Philadelphia Regional Director Shira Goodman said. That issue is of growing importance considering the November election, she said.

“Voting is crucial, and we need to increase the number of young people who are voting and engaged in the process,” Urban League of Philadelphia President and CEO Andrea Custis said. “This partnership is perfectly timed to engage our young leaders in this critical endeavor.”

“This project honors our communities’ past collaborations while building a foundation for a shared future,” Goodman said.

Scott Goldstein, a co-chair of the ADL’s Advocacy Committee, said a goal is to get young people into the habit of voting.

“Advocacy is a spectrum, and voting is a next step for that advocacy for young people,” he said.

Goodman said the partnership will continue beyond the election.

Gratz College Hosts Virtual 120th Commencement
Gratz College honored its 120th class virtually on Aug. 30 with the graduation of more than 100 students.

“This commencement will be a milestone in the history of Gratz College as it marks the 120th graduating class in its 125th anniversary year,” Honour Moore, dean of the college, said.

Steve Piltch, school leadership program director at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, delivered the commencement address. He also received an honorary doctorate.

In his address, Piltch called on Gratz graduates to respond to current events.

“Regardless of what you do for a living, who you are, or where you live, all of us must start with our families, move to friends, colleagues at work and then the world at large, acknowledging our own biases, pushing ourselves to learn and grow beyond them, and working to listen to all voices more and especially voices that American society has historically ignored,” he said. “We must hold ourselves and others accountable in a respectful and appropriate way for what we and they say and do. We must have those difficult discussions.”

Samantha Vinokor-Meinrath, who graduated with her doctorate of education in educational leadership, delivered the student address. She received the L. Bernard Rabinowitz Award for demonstrating “unique leadership, commitment and service to Jewish institutions, religious and secular.”

Additional awards were given to:

Judah Sussman, master’s degree in Jewish professional studies, who received the Rema Feinberg Award.

Philip Moore, doctorate of education in educational leadership, who received the Jonathan and Susan Rosenbaum Prize.

Alexis Johnson-Sziy and Golda Retchkiman, both graduating with master’s degrees in Holocaust and genocide studies, who received the Gratz College Award.

Jennifer Wilson, master’s degrees in Holocaust and genocide studies, who received the Samuel and Bessie Starr Memorial Prize.

— Compiled by Andy Gotlieb and Maddie Gamburg


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