New York, NY, November 22, 2010 … Jewish community leaders from across Latin America participated in a series of Anti-Defamation League (ADL) workshops where they exchanged strategies on responding to key issues confronting Jews in the region.
Community leaders and professional staff from 11 Latin American countries (with representation from Spain and Puerto Rico) gathered November 15-17 at the League's national headquarters in Manhattan for intensive workshops on a broad array of subjects, including institutional security, extremism and countering anti-Israel activism.
The workshops, part of ADL's ongoing efforts to strengthen relationships with and among Latin American Jewish communities, aimed to improve information sharing, review best practices and sharpen community response skills.
"Despite political and socioeconomic differences in their countries, Jewish communities across Latin America face many similar challenges," said Michael A. Salberg, ADL Director of International Affairs. "It is extremely helpful to have a forum for direct engagement where they can identify areas of need and exchange ideas for improvements. More than just relationship-building, the workshops provided an opportunity to share resources and expertise, and reinforced ADL's role as a partner."
The countries represented included: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil (Sao Paulo and Rio De Janeiro), Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Participants heard from experts on Israel, U.S. congressional leaders, United Nations ambassadors and other dignitaries. Discussions topics ranged from civil rights activism, interfaith dialogue and law enforcement training to media strategies, diversity training and cyber-hate.
The participants were also briefed on current issues at the United Nations, U.S.-Latin American policy and anti-Israel activism on university campuses.
Speakers included Amb. Meron Reuben, Israel's Ambassador to the U.N., Amb. Brooke Anderson of the United States Mission to the U.N., Rep. Elliot Engel (D-NY) and Amb. Roger Noriega, Visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
Said one community leader who attended the workshops, "It reinforces that important role of the ADL … [The conference] was hosted by an organization truly willing to help. We have someone to go to, when needed."
A second round of ADL workshops, held November 17-19, focused on Internet technology, research and security. A small groups of experts from Jewish communities in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela consulted on investigative, educational, and legal approaches to confronting hate on the Internet.