‘The rise of hate’ to be addressed in programs sponsored by Congregation B’nai Shalom

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Westborough – In response to the growing rise of hate in the U.S., Congregation B’nai Shalom (CBS) is hosting two programs this November. On Sunday, Nov. 10, “The Rise of Hate – How Did We Get Here? What Can We Do?” will feature four speakers, including U.S. Congressman James McGovern. On Saturday, Nov. 23, the Holocaust documentary film, “Etched in Glass, The Legacy of Steve Ross” will be shown. The film’s producer, Steven Lyons, will introduce the film and hold a Q&A afterwards.

According to one of the Nov. 10 event organizers, CBS member Jeffrey Govendo, “Most of us are quite alarmed at the increased number of hate-related incidents across the country toward Jews, Muslims, members of the LBGTQ+ communities, and others. It affects all Americans. We’ve organized this program to inform people about why this is happening, and what concerned citizens can do about it.”

In addition to McGovern, speakers will include Dr. Arie Perliger, an expert on terrorism and political violence, who is a professor in security studies at UMass Lowell; Melissa Kraus, an associate regional director at the Anti-Defamation League of New England; and Alejandro Beutel, who focuses on U.S. anti-Muslim and anti-government movements. Beutel previously worked for the Southern Poverty Center.

This program is presented by the CBS Social Action Committee in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Central MA.

Admission is free but donations are welcome to offset program and security costs. To RSVP for this program, visit cbnaishalom.org.

The documentary  “Etched in Glass” profiles the journey of Holocaust survivor Steve Ross, who survived 10 different concentration camps. Ross, who was shaped by his time in the camps, as well as his liberation from Dachau by American soldiers, went on to work with disadvantaged youth and establish Boston’s Holocaust Memorial.”

According to event organizer Karen Rothman, “Almost all of the direct witnesses to the Holocaust will be gone in the next decade or so. Each Holocaust survivor had to figure out what to do with their life after most of the people they knew had died. Steve Ross saw goodness and hope in every troubled child he worked with. His story teaches that regardless of how insignificant we may feel, we each have the capacity to make a positive difference in the lives of others.“

Born in Poland in 1931, like other Holocaust survivors, Ross, who was born Szulek Rozental, survived by a combination of luck and cunning moves. He escaped death at one camp by hiding under a moving train.

He went on to earn a Ph.D. from Boston University, and worked as a licensed psychologist for many years. Ross published his biography in 2018, “From Broken Glass: My Story of Finding Hope in Hitler’s Death Camps to Inspire a New Generation.”

Ross formed a committee in 1986 to establish a memorial in Boston to the Holocaust, which was established in 1995.

This event is a partnership of CBS with the Jewish Federation of Central MA and the CBS Brotherhood and Sisterhood.

Donations of $10 are requested to help underwrite the cost of the program and security. Students are free of charge.

RSVP is requested at cbnaishalom.org.