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Anti-Defamation League CEO to discuss antisemitism and solutions at USC 

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League, will discuss global, national and local solutions for fighting antisemitism in the 2023 Solomon-Tenenbaum Lecture in Jewish Studies at the University of South Carolina.

Greenblatt will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, February 16, in the USC School of Law Karen J. Williams Courtroom. Joel H. Samuels, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will join Greenblatt for a conversation on trends in antisemitism, how ADL is modernizing its campaign against bigotry and how the Columbia community can unite against hate. A reception and book signing will follow.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested at

Earlier the same day, Greenblatt will join a 2 p.m. panel discussion at the Big Apple, 1000 Hampton Street, on topics related to antisemitism, racism and other forms of bigotry. Registration is not required for the 2 p.m. discussion.

Antisemitism trends upward

Greenblatt’s appearances come at a time when the Columbia region and the nation have grappled with growing antisemitism. In 2019, more antisemitic incidents were recorded in the US than in any of the previous four decades, including attacks in Pittsburgh, Jersey City and other cities. In 2022, antisemitic tracts were distributed in the Columbia area.

"Societies have grappled with hatred and bigotry for all of recorded history, but we have all been personally touched in recent years here at home in ways that affect us, our colleagues, and our communities,” Samuels said. “The Anti-Defamation League is at the forefront of countering these forces, both as they relate to Jewish people but also more broadly. I’m pleased to host this conversation with Jonathan Greenblatt to discuss what our nation, our local community and each of us individually can do about these issues.”

Greenblatt became CEO of ADL in 2015 after serving in the White House as special assistant to President Obama and director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation. He joined the government after a distinguished career in business as a successful social entrepreneur and corporate executive: he cofounded Ethos Brands, the company that launched Ethos Water (acquired by Starbucks, 2005), founded All for Good (acquired by Points of Light, 2011) and served as a senior executive at (acquired by News Corp, 2014).  

Greenblatt recently published his first book, It Could Happen Here: Why America is Tipping from Hate to the Unthinkable—And How We Can Stop It, a bracing primer on how we—as individuals, as organizations, and as a society—can strike back against antisemitism and hate.

About the Solomon-Tenenbaum Lecture

The Solomon-Tenenbaum Lecture tradition began in 1990, when Samuel and Inez Tenenbaum created the Tenenbaum Visiting Lectureship in Judaic Studies in memory of Meyer Warren Tenenbaum and LaBelle Florence Tenenbaum. Melvin and Judith Solomon, of Charleston, also provided a generous gift to support the lectureship. After more than 30 years, the tradition continues to foster conversation on a variety of topics related to Jewish Studies. Past lectures have covered topics such as Holocaust remembrance and denial, Jewish identity, and Salvador Dali’s artwork celebrating the establishment of the State of Israel.

About Jewish Studies at USC

The Jewish Studies Program seeks to broaden and deepen the understanding of Jewish culture in South Carolina and around the world. It is part of the College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college in the University of South Carolina. 

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