Be An Upstander

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On Monday, May 8th from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at Temple Beth Israel in Port Washington, a newly formed community group called Port Together will sponsor an “Up stander Workshop.”  All are invited to attend. The event is designed to provide participants with insight into the increasing amounts of bias, bigotry and intolerance in our society and to empower residents to respond effectively both as individuals and collectively. Information about Long Island residents, who are immigrants and refugees, as well as ways to support these individuals and their families, will also be offered.

The workshop features two speakers whose organizations promote respect for all people. Tracy Garrison-Feinberg, Director of the Claire Friedlander Education Institute at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County, will provide training on how to be an “Upstander” and take action against hate and racism. The Holocaust Center’s definition of an “Upstander” is a person who stands up for others, and does not stand by allowing bigotry, hatred or intolerance to happen without interjection. The Center teaches the history of the Holocaust and its lessons through education and community outreach, and about the dangers of anti-Semitism, racism, bullying and all other manifestations of intolerance.

Laura Lemus, Special Projects Coordinator, Long Island Wins, will provide an overview of the current situation faced by immigrants on Long Island, and specific actions that will create a climate of support in our community. Long Island Wins is a nonprofit communications organization that focuses on promoting practical immigration solutions that work for everyone, rooted in respect and dignity for all.

Port Together was started in June 2016 by a small group of Port Washington residents who were concerned about issues of inequity.  The group includes both longtime residents and those who have moved here more recently. Recognizing Port Washington as a diverse community, economically, ethnically, racially and religiously, the group’s goal is to promote interactions among all residents, ultimately increasing understanding about the struggles of some groups of people in our community and to allow all of us to work as allies. This is the first event Port Together is sponsoring. The group is also finishing up a survey and needs assessment based on feedback from community service providers and will be sharing a report on the findings at a later date.

Rabbi Michael Mishkin of Temple Beth Israel said, “TBI is proud to host the program, “Become an Upstander,” featuring speakers from the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County and from Long Island Wins. Standing up for people who are vulnerable is a core message of the Torah.  We must be concerned about the welfare of all people in our community, especially with those who have little or no political power.  As the Torah teaches us: “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. . . ” (Leviticus 19:34).”

For further information or questions, please contact Allison White at (516) 944-7794 or alliwhite@gmail.com or Rabbi Mishkin at 516 767-1708, ext. 4, or rabbimishkin@tbiport.org

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Elizabeth Johnson is editor of Manhasset Press and Port Washington News, special features including the Business Quarterly column, Manhasset Magazine, Pride In Port, Port Washington News, Port Gift Guide and other special sections. Growing up in nearby Garden City and attending New York University, she is well-versed in the locale and knowledgeable about the beat she covers. Her community involvement is extensive and includes the Manhasset SCA, Kiwanis International, Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary’s Church, and various civic and local charitable organizations. Curious by nature, her travels, community service, love of the arts as well as local sports give her the inside view to unique content. During her time at Anton, she has received several awards from the New York Press Association and the Press Club of LI, including the coveted "Best Community newspaper" several years in a row.

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