What is an Upstander?

Over the past nine months, I have participated in several exceptional learning experiences regarding antisemitism (and how we can handle it when it arises). Recently, I completed The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute’s class “Outsmarting Antisemitism” through Chabad. It was an incredibly eye-opening and thought-provoking course.

Throughout my professional life I have taken part in numerous learning opportunities. Classes such as “Outsmarting Antisemitism” continue to push me to delve deeper into learning more about how, as our world changes, the ways in which antisemitism manifests itself also changes and evolves. So, no matter how much we believe we know, there is always more to learn.

Our Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) believes that education is a vital component to its mission. It doesn’t stop there. In addition to educating people, JCRC aims to advocate and act. One way in which JCRC has recently done this is through its Upstander Initiative.

An upstander is a person who is willing and wanting to stand up for themselves and others and their rights to live in a safe society. There are many ways in which one can act as an upstander, including through our most recent program, Shine A Light on Antisemitism.

Shine a Light is a national initiative to raise awareness about antisemitism through education, community partnerships, workplace engagement, and advocacy among Jewish and non-Jewish communities. This program came at a perfect time – Chanukah.

This past Sunday, at the JCC’s Chanukah on Ice celebration, several partners joined us to light the menorah and read their commitments in person, to our community. It was incredible to see so many people come out and join us for an afternoon of family fun and inspiration.

This is just one of the many programs and initiatives offered through JCRC. For more information, contact Dr. Marcy L. Paul, Senior Director of JCRC at




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