Never Is Now will convene from approximately 9 AM to 6 PM. Check back soon for additional updates.
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM OPENING PLENARY SESSION
Remarks by ADL's CEO and National Director, Jonathan Greenblatt
We are living at a time when anti-Semitism is surging both here in America and abroad, where we see it in its classical mode and in its new mode, and where we see it coming from the right and left, and where it is being legitimized once again in unexpected ways. Our panel of distinguished experts will examine the factors at work that underlie this resurgence, where the greatest dangers lie and what is it that all of us–as individuals, as organizations, as governments–do to counteract this rising threat.
ADL Blum-Kovler Nation of Immigrants Award recipient to be announced soon.
10:50 AM - 11:50 AM BREAKOUT SESSION I
The French and British Jewish communities are the two largest in Europe, and worries about anti-Semitism top the agendas in both countries. Their concerns range from violence in the streets to anti-Semitic discourse in major political parties. Hear from leaders of these Jewish communities how they are responding and what actions their governments and civil society allies are taking.
So, you’ve heard that there is an increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents reported at colleges and universities across the nation? Do students really feel targeted? Hear what this all means from the perspectives of those experiencing campus today. Learn about ways that communities are building allies and speaking up against anti-Semitism, and about new policies and programs that are being put in place to ensure that Jewish students continue to feel at home in the places they live and learn.
From social media platforms to online games, digital spaces have the power to divide and disturb, but also to create new communities and build bridges of understanding between disparate groups. Join a group of trailblazers who are involved in creating cutting-edge positive digital spaces for youth. Learn about how choices made in designing a game can foster empathy, how augmented reality can be used to make neighborhoods reflect on their civil rights history, and how video game streamers can foster respectful and inclusive communities on platforms like Twitch.
America is often referred to as a “Nation of Immigrants,” but it has also been, much too frequently, a nation of nativist and racist reactions to immigrants. The Jewish community knows all too well what happens when people fleeing for their lives feel like they have nowhere to turn. Prior to and during World War II, restrictive anti-Semitic policies were embedded in American immigration policy with catastrophic consequences for those fleeing existential danger. Join ADL and leading experts as we reflect on our country’s historic restrictionist policy mistakes and their echoes today, as policies and rhetoric have once again led to xenophobic scapegoating of immigrants.
12:10 PM - 1:10 PM BREAKOUT SESSION II
This panel will examine the line between anti-Israel expressions and anti-Semitism. There are some in the Jewish community who label almost all expressions that are deemed “anti-Israel” as anti-Semitic, whether in fact or intent. On the opposite side of the political spectrum, there are those who assert that criticism of Israel is never anti-Semitic and that accusations of anti-Semitism are tactics to shut down speech critical of Israel. These extremes can lead to a diminished ability to address actual anti-Semitism. How do people with a range of political views interpret what is “anti-Israel” and where these expressions connect with anti-Semitism?
Colleges and universities are experiencing a challenging confluence of events: increased polarization among the student body, recruiting of college students by white supremacists and other extremist groups, and increased use of the “heckler’s veto” and violence to silence controversial speakers invited to campuses. Come discuss these trends and the challenge of simultaneously protecting free expression while maintaining an inclusive and welcoming campus climate.
Divisive public rhetoric about immigration, Muslims, Jews and women has empowered and energized white supremacists, whose hate was on full display in Charlottesville and in Pittsburgh, where overt, aggressive expressions of anti-Semitism served as precursors to unthinkable violence. This panel will discuss the current state of extremism in America, and its impact on diverse communities nationwide. It will also explore the ways in which anti-Semitism drives and informs all forms of hate.
The Jewish people are a people of racial and ethnic diversity, bestowing Jewish communities across the world with an abundance of tradition and culture. With this beautiful diversity, what challenges have our people faced as it relates to race and racism, and how is the Jewish community working to understand and address elements of discrimination and prejudice that exist on personal, institutional and systemic levels within the Jewish community and beyond? In the face of increased anti-Semitism in the United States today, how can Jewish communities approach issues of safety and security in ways that encompass the needs of Jews of color and a commitment to racial equity?
Join us as we explore these issues of racial justice and equity in Jewish spaces and discuss ways to address issues of race and racism as intersectional, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, cross-class, multi-gendered, differently observant, and intergenerational communities of Jews.
1:10 PM - 2:00 PM LUNCH BREAK
Kosher lunch will be served.
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM BREAKOUT SESSION III
In an era where social movements, people and even our media have become evermore polarized, how do we continue to bridge across divides? What motivates people to come together for action, and why? How do we address our shared democratic values, when we have different opinions?
Join us for a conversation with those on the ground, building and sustaining coalitions. Despite the mounting pressures to disengage, and the pressures of hate-filled extremism, learn from social justice leaders about what impacted communities are doing and what you can do to help people come together. Only together can we build a shared society with the vision to secure justice and equality for us all.
The broadcast media has played a vital role over generations in shaping perceptions of ourselves and society. But with a rapidly changing media landscape, it has become more challenging to reach large audiences with relevant, authentic and effective messages about the importance of diversity and acceptance – especially in a society that seems more fractured than ever.
On this panel are industry leaders who are helping their brands break through the noise to deliver disruptive and compelling cross-platform storytelling campaigns. They have pulled back the curtain on hate crimes, educated about the perils of unchecked racism and prejudice, and shown us what diversity and acceptance can look like for everyday people. These leaders are helping redefine how the media shapes our understanding of hate in America and communicates our best values to an increasingly segmented audience of media consumers.
Sports has a unifying power unlike almost anything else, not only in the US, but around the world. With millions of passionate fans hanging on every word, action and social post from their favorite athletes and teams, the potential for athletes, teams and leagues to have a meaningful positive social impact is almost unparalleled. In just the past 2 years we have seen an uptick in the sports world launching amazing initiatives that involve their athletes in a meaningful way. Be it advocating for criminal justice reform in a home state, fighting bigotry on and off the field or giving athletes a platform to have their voices heard in an impactful way, the sports industry is getting increasingly involved in the battle against bias, discrimination and injustices of all kinds. Join sports industry leaders as they talk about how their organizations have been leading the charge and the importance of empowering athletes in fighting hate for good.
Hate can now be found in every part of the internet, and it shows no sign of letting up. Forty percent of surveyed individuals report being subject to online harassment. Misinformation designed to foster racial divisions has led to offline violence. And whole platforms exist for people who have been kicked off of Twitter. What can we do to reclaim our digital communities? Can companies take steps to make their platforms good spaces for all? Should governments increase regulation of social media platforms? Can individuals use new technologies or services to better insulate themselves from hate online?
3:20 PM - 5:00 PM CLOSING PLENARY SESSION
Tim Cook, Apple CEO, to be presented with ADL’s 2018 Courage Against Hate Award.
Closing panel to be announced soon.
Check back soon for more information.
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM HOLIDAY CELEBRATION & RECEPTION
High School Student Track
High school students are invited to attend the Never Is Now student track program from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Panels and breakout sessions will focus on leadership, intergroup collaboration, understanding contemporary anti-Semitism and campus climate.
For more information about the high school student track, please contact NeverIsNow@adl.org.
This panel will center on the mission of ADL’s new My Voice, Our Future campaign, a project centered around denying divisiveness both on campus and in communities. The My Voice, Our Future campaign seeks to amplify the voices of young leaders from the Middle East and Africa in order to unite groups together over shared values and issues of mutual concern. By telling their courageous stories of combating hate, these young leaders inspire new perspectives and encourage others to participate in dialogue. The panelists, who are all involved in the My Voice, Our Future campaign, will share their stories of overcoming the obstacles before them to defy the status quo and serve as leaders in their home countries and in the United States.
Young Jewish leaders from South Africa, Chile, Germany and France will speak about their unique cultures and experiences of Jewish life in their mother countries. The panelists will explore the challenges faced and opportunities ahead, considering how their experiences are similar and distinct from trends in America. The conversation will focus on the development of Jewish identity, creating a more hate free society, and the complex ways in which Israel plays a role in how anti-Semitism is experienced. Participants will walk away with a greater understanding of Jewish communities abroad and how it applies to their understanding of societies as a whole.
Breakout sessions will be led by panelists, plus additional speakers. Each will focus on leadership, intergroup collaboration, and exploring societal trends around hate and ways to combat it. Students will be able to choose which breakout session they wish to participate in.
Breakout session topics include:
- Coalition Building and Intergroup Collaboration
- Leadership on Campus
- Personal Storytelling and Communication
- Race, Sexual Orientation and Gender Within the Jewish Community