In response to inquiries from community members since the events of Oct. 7, the Alabama Holocaust Education Center has created Taking Action Together, a series of virtual lunch programs that will take place in the coming months.
Executive Director Lisa Bachman said the series is “designed to provide people with tools to help answer their questions about the rise in hate, misinformation in the media, propaganda, how to have difficult conversations and more.” Today’s events will be examined for common threads with 1930s Europe, from misinformation to intolerance.
Speakers from around the world will discuss a range of topics related to the current situation, with a question and answer period at each session. The program is free, but registration is required, and the noon sessions will be recorded for those who can not make the live events.
On Dec. 6, the series begins with “Being Mentally Strong,” with Amy Morin and Collat Jewish Family Services Executive Director Lauren Schwartz. Morin is a psychotherapist and mental strength trainer, author of the international bestsellers “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do” and “13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don’t Do.”
Morin’s TEDx Talk, “The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong,” has over 23 million views. On her “Mentally Stronger” podcast, she recently interviewed Holocaust survivor Edith Eger, a specialist in emotional self-healing and treating post-traumatic stress disorder.
On Jan. 10, there will be a session with the News Literacy Project on “Exploring the Misinformation Landscape.” The Jan. 24 session, with a representative from Yad Vashem, will be in “The Twin Dangers of Silence and Indifference.”
Future topics include AL.com’s John Archibald on “Interfaith Friendship: Building Bridges During Hard Times”; Daryl Davis on “The Power of Conversation”; Lauren Bairnsfather on “Tree of Life: A Region Responds to Hate”; Honest Reporting on “Distinguishing Fact from Fiction” and Becoming News Literate”; Echoes and Reflections on “Contemporary Antisemitism on Social Media” and “Power of Propaganda”; Jordan Kiper and Jonathan Wiesen on “Decoding Propaganda and Hate Speech”; Yad Vashem on “Developing Resiliency in Children” and News Literacy Project on What Does It Mean to Be News Literate?”
Partner organizations include the Birmingham Jewish Federation, Birmingham Jewish Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, Collat Jewish Family Services, the Jewish Community Relations Council, Levite Jewish Community Center, Temple Beth-El and Temple Emanu-El.