Federation to hold ADL webinar on Jan. 27

By The Reporter Staff

The Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton will hold “The Rise in Antisemtism: Communitywide Webinar with the ADL,” with Scott Richman, the director of the Anti-Defamation League’s regional office covering New York and New Jersey, on Thursday, January 27, at 7 pm, on Zoom. There is no cost to attend. Rachel Coker, director of research advancement at Binghamton University, will moderate the discussion. To register for the event, visit this link. To submit questions before the event, e-mail Shelley Hubal, executive director of the Federation, at director@jfgb.org. 


The ADL describes its mission as “stop[ping] the defamation of the Jewish people, and... secur[ing] justice and fair treatment to all.” Richman’s work includes handling incident response, anti-bias education, legislative initiatives, educational programs, fund-raising and leadership development – all designed to fight antisemitism and combat hate in all its forms. He speaks about these issues on his weekly national podcast called “From the Frontlines,” which can be found on SoundCloud. He has been called an experienced advocate dedicated to developing community partnerships and initiatives that speak to the ADL’s mission.

Before coming to the ADL, Richman worked for the American Jewish Committee as regional director for Westchester (NY) and Fairfield (CT) counties. Previous to that, he served for 10 years at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee aiding the rebirth of Jewish life in the former Soviet Union, and three years as the founding director of Dor Chadash, a non-profit startup that engaged young professionals in the New York area. 

Coker, a former newspaper journalist, joined Binghamton University’s staff in 2005. As director of research advancement, she edits an e-newsletter and a magazine dedicated to scholarly work on campus, and writes media releases on topics ranging from physics findings to faculty novels. She’s also the speechwriter for the vice president for research and tweets about research, writing and more at @rmcoker. Her news writing and publications have earned recognition from SUNY CUAD and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. She is a past president of the University Research Magazine Association and immediate past president of Temple Concord. She also has served as adjunct instructor of journalism at BU and at SUNY Broome Community College. In addition, she is the chairwoman of The Reporter Editorial Committee. 

“It’s important to come together to discuss antisemitism and how we can best respond to it, whether we’re encountering it online, at our children’s schools or elsewhere in our community,” Coker said. “Antisemitism casts a shadow over Jewish life in America. The presence of police officers at our synagogues during the High Holy Days is a perfect illustration. We operate against a background of fear even at times when we should be able to engage in prayer and peaceful reflection. I respect the Anti-Defamation League as a source of expertise and data when it comes to antisemitism in the United States, and I look forward to the insights that may be revealed during this webinar.”

Ben Kasper, who is second vice president of the Executive Committee of Temple Israel’s Board of Trustees and a member of The Reporter Editorial Committee, noted that “Jewish tradition commands us to ‘welcome the stranger.’ Did our support of refugees contribute to the antisemitic violence at Charlottesville, VA, or the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pennsylvania? Why has there been a spike in antisemitism in the past few years and what can we do to address the threat to our community? The ADL has recorded and studied attacks on our Jewish community, and has developed strategies to address this growing act of violence.”
“I’m so pleased that the Federation is able to bring Scott Richman and the ADL to our community to talk about these important issues,” Hubal said. “Education is part of the Federation’s mission, and the issues Scott will discuss will speak directly to many members of our community. Please join us for what will be a fascinating discussion.”