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CEO Newsletter – March 6, 2024 – Fighting Antisemitism at 18Doors

Last week, 18Doors and the ADL announced a joint partnership, one that has been in the works for nearly a year, and that we are very excited about. So, why this partnership, and what can you expect from 18Doors and this work?

I remember realizing that we needed to expand 18Doors’ work into fighting antisemitism when, during the hostage situation at the Colleyville synagogue in 2022, I was reading a lot about the incident in my social media feed while my wife Courtney’s feed was almost completely silent on the situation. Courtney is Catholic, and while immersed in our Jewish communities, that had somehow not translated into her social media feed. We needed help navigating conversations about antisemitism, and it made me think that if we needed help, there were other couples who did too.

Fast forward to October 7 and the attack of Hamas on Israel. Since that day, antisemitism in the United States has risen almost 400 percent. The need for programs and resources on antisemitism specifically for interfaith couples has never been greater, and there is no better time than now.

Why the ADL?  
When we began discussing the need to do this critically important work, and needed a partner in doing so, it was an easy choice for 18Doors to partner with the ADL. We have important ties to the organization: 1) 18Doors’ past Director of Professional Development Tema Smith is now Director of Jewish Outreach and Partnerships at the ADL. Part of an interfaith, multiracial family herself, Tema understands the work of 18Doors, and of being part of an interfaith family; 2) 18Doors’ first board chair (when we were known as InterfaithFamily) was Esta Epstein, who remains a steadfast supporter of ours, and is also the past national board chair of the ADL; and 3) our Chief Advancement Officer, Mike Navisky, was a former staffer at the ADL and developed many friendships over the years at the organization. Relationships matter, particularly when you are forging into new waters. And while we have different approaches, we knew that as 18Doors navigated creating resources about antisemitism, we wanted to partner with a nationally-recognized organization that is known for their education on antisemitism. And while we may not agree on all of each other’s policies or approaches, we know that the wealth of expertise that the ADL has in this area make it the right first partner for 18Doors in this work.  

What Can You Expect From 18Doors? 
We know that many of you rely on 18Doors to be a space where you can be yourself, and grapple with difficult topics. We take that trust seriously, and will continue to ensure that our programs are judgment-free zones. 18Doors will always create and hold the space for interfaith couples and their families to have conversations around our differences, and navigating and building understanding across and between those differences. It is leaning into our differences, whether of religion, political beliefs or world experiences, where we can grow our understanding and connections to each other.  

Because what we and the ADL want is to fill the gap that currently exists. Couples and family members come from a place of love, connection and shared humanity—and yet, these conversations around antisemitism and allyship can be hard to navigate. (We are, in fact, co-sponsoring an event—Allyship in a Time of Rising Antisemitism—with the ADL later this month, where we’ll provide interfaith couples with tools on how to best to support one another during challenging times like these.) We are proud to partner with the ADL in creating these new programs and resources, because we know how important this work is—especially now—and what a significant impact it can have, not only on interfaith families, but the broader communities of which we are all a part.  

I look forward to sharing more as we develop additional resources.

Best,

Jodi Bromberg

jodi bromberg signature

Jodi Bromberg

Jodi Bromberg is the CEO of 18Doors.

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