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Providence Day hosts Anti-Defamation League

Trainers from the Washington, D.C. office of the international Anti-Defamation League (ADL) visited campus recently to provide training for about 40 PD faculty, staff, and administrators on how to recognize and deter anti-Semitism and bigotry of all forms within the school community.

Documented incidents of anti-Semitism, on school campuses and elsewhere, are at the highest point they’ve been in the past 40 years - and that’s just among those that are reported, with many additional incidents likely unreported, said Marya Slade, who led the training. A polarizing political environment as well as influence from social media and other Internet sources are likely factors contributing to the increase, she said.

The Providence Day community is responding, said Tyrone Jean, Director of Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging at PD. In response to some anti-Semitic incidents on campus last fall, the school met with the PD Jewish community and local Jewish community leaders to share resources to help the community move forward and heal.

“The ADL is a leading anti-hate organization that works to combat anti-Semitism, counter extremism, and battle bigotry in our society. Colleagues from the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte invited us to partner with the ADL and we believed it was necessary to further educate our campus leaders on this topic,” said Jean. “This is a part of our ongoing, proactive education and commitment to combat anti-Semitism and hate.”

A panel of three students from Providence Day and Country Day shared their Jewish heritage, culture, and traditions with the group, as well as examples of anti-Semitism they had each personally experienced. Then the trainees broke into small groups to discuss real-life examples of reported anti-Semitism on campuses and discussed appropriate school responses, including counteracting ignorance; intervening directly in conversations; and following up with apologies to the victims by the perpetrators after incidents occur.

“Those in attendance commented that they learned something new and got to engage in conversation that was helpful to their own understanding of anti-Semitism,” said Jean. “It's a part of our ongoing commitment, and this training is not a one-time occurrence. We will continue to provide educational opportunities for our community.” 

Two members of the Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging team are attending additional anti-Semitism training at Shalom Park this week. For more information about EIB at Providence Day, click here