We Need to Talk About Antisemitism-Presented by Rabbi Diana Fersko

  • 12/21/2023
  • 11:30 AM
  • Nina Iser Jewish Cultural Center




Thursday, December 21, 2023, at 11:30 am

Note the special time!

Nina Iser Jewish Cultural Center

"We Need to Talk About Antisemitism"

Presented by Rabbi Diana Fersko 


Antisemitism is the worst it has ever been in many of our lifetimes.  How do we understand what is happening now and how do we fight back? What has changed in this post October 7th world? Hear Rabbi Diana Fersko discuss her new, and distressingly timely book, We Need to Talk about Antisemitism, which offers accessible ways to identify and combat this ancient hate.                     

Rabbi Diana Fersko, author of We Need to Talk about Antisemitism, who was ordained at Hebrew Union College and also earned a master s degree in Hebrew literature there, is the senior rabbi at The Village Temple in Manhattan. It is a synagogue with an embracing message on its website: All who wish to enter our doors belong here–Jews by birth, Jews by choice, interfaith families.” Like many synagogues nowadays –post-pandemic–it offers services in-person and via Zoom, and there is a library online of Rabbi Fersko s direct, energetic, and uplifting sermons. Her sermons are suffused with the joy she finds in Judaism with an equal amount of seriousness about–as she puts it – “making the world a better place through action.”

Rabbi Fersko is active in Jewish organizations: She  has served as national vice president of the Women s Rabbinic Network and is a member of the New York Board of Rabbis. She has raised funds for refugee relief. She started the largest and longest-running millennial engagement program in NYC–Shabbat After Dark, which attracts hundreds of young Jews each month. During the pandemic, she was profiled by the New Yorker for her commitment to going door-to-door for outdoor meetings with congregants under the headline: A New Rabbi Schleps Through the Village to Meet Her Flock.” The reporter gave her style props for combining a tallis with a leopard-print mask”!! What an image of rabbinical dedication on-the-go.

And…amid all that…she has written a book, which is itself a call to action: We Need to Talk about Antisemitism.  In it, she makes the case that Jews, American Jews in particular, have devised many strategies–one might say, excuses–for avoiding discussions about it. In this book–and in her commitment to using the book as a tool for engaging communities in conversation about antisemitism–she is personally combatting any excuse-making. She states it bluntly: Avoiding the conversation is perilous for Jews. Certainly, the atrocities that Hamas inflicted on Jews–mainly Israelis, but also Americans and Jews of other nations–makes that point clear and urgent. Rabbi Fersko is investing her time in building the dialogue, including here in Naples. 

Her book will be available for purchase at the event.

The Women’s Cultural Alliance (WCA) is run entirely by volunteers. We are non-partisan, non-sectarian and welcome women of all faiths. WCA is an affinity group of the Jewish Federation of Greater Naples.

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