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St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

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Local St. Louis television special to focus on the history and rise of antisemitism

A rally in New York City against antisemitism. Credit: Christopher Penler/Shutterstock.

Though it has always existed, antisemitism has grown in recent years, moving from the fringe and obscure to the mainstream. Just this morning, two days after Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported how nearly 1 in 3 Jewish college students has witnessed or experienced antisemitism on campus, according to a new survey.

The surge in recent reports proves that the conversation about antisemitism and the lessons learned from the past can never be spoken of enough. That conversation is now taking place on St. Louis television.

On Thursday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m., 5 On Your Side, the local NBC affiliate, will air the next edition of its award-winning “RACE: Listen. Learn. Live” series, focusing on the history and rise of antisemitism.

The hour-long “RACE: Listen. Learn. Live. Fighting Antisemitism” program will feature personal experiences with antisemitism, including Holocaust survivor Rachel Miller and other members of the local Jewish community. Additional stories will focus on efforts to educate and fight antisemitism from local schools to college campuses and beyond.

“While traditional media and social media has huge potential for good, it also is a forum for false information and maliciousness,” said 5 On Your Side anchor and host of the special Mike Bush. “We’ve seen a disturbing level of hate directed at minority communities and that includes alarming antisemitism. The way to stop this cycle of misinformation, ignorance and hate is through knowledge and that’s our goal with this hour-long KSDK special program.”

The RACE series

The “RACE” series has been produced by 5 On Your Side since 2020.

“It was just after the George Floyd incident in May 2020 and we started to see so many similarities to what happened years before in Ferguson, and the things that were going wrong. We realized this was not just a problem for St. Louis, but a problem for the world,” said Sonya Potter, the executive producer of the series.

This will be the fifth in the series, which has included specials featuring Black men, and children as well as the 2022 Gracie Award-winning special on Black women. Another special on Asian hate was a finalist for the du Pont Columbia Award.

“RACE: Listen. Learn. Live. Fighting Antisemitism”

“We began noticing more stories and incidents happening more frequently. And then there was an incident on the University of Illinois campus,” said Potter. “We looked at our own community. I remember I started to look things up and found reporting in the Jewish Light about the pig head found in Olivette. It was happening right here.”

To provide proper context for viewers, Potter and fellow producer Andrea Firestone wanted to explain antisemitism from its place within Jewish history. To accomplish this, they turned to the St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum and St. Louis resident Rachel Miller, who survived the Holocaust as a hidden child.

“We spoke to Rachel Miller, who talks about how she never thought the political climate regarding antisemitism could be what it is now,” said Potter. “Miller said she never imagined she would live through another significant rise of intolerance. The feelings she gets today are strikingly similar to the terror she felt in the 1930s and ’40s.”

Weaved within the powerful storytelling, Bush will also moderate a panel discussion filmed at the Holocaust Museum with seven members of our community. The participants discuss their own experiences with antisemitism, what they think we can all do to fight antisemitism, ideas on how to speak to young people about it, and how they respond when confronted with antisemitism.

“Viewers will hear personal stories of individuals affected by antisemitism, as well as more about the history of antisemitism,” said Amy Lutz, the museum’s director of marketing and communications. “Viewers will learn about how antisemitism, which sometimes feels huge and hard to fight, affects Jewish people individually and communally.”

“RACE: Listen. Learn. Live. Fighting Antisemitism”

Where: 5 On Your Side, KSDK
When: Thursday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m.
More Info: In the days following the event, the panel discussion will be made available in full to watch on YouTube and will be available for on-demand viewing on 5+, 5 On Your Side’s streaming channel, available on Roku and Fire TV.

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About the Contributor
Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer
Jordan worked at KSDK from 1995 to 2020. Jordan is a three-time Emmy award winner who produced every kind of show from news to specials during his tenure, creating Show Me St. Louis, The Cardinal Nation Show. He started ksdk.com in 2001 and won three Edward R. Murrow Awards for journalistic and website excellence in 2010, 2014 and 2020. Jordan has been married for 25 years and is the father of two college students. He is an avid biker, snowboarder, and beer lover. He created the blog drink314.com, focusing on the St. Louis beer community in 2015. Jordan has an incredible and vast knowledge of useless information and is the grandson of a Cleveland bootlegger.