Charlotte Jewish Community to Unite For Jewish Federation’s 2023 Main Event in Face of Growing Antisemitism

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After raising a milestone $5 million in 2022 to support the Charlotte Jewish community and over 70 beneficiary agencies, The Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte is kicking off their 2023 annual campaign with a new goal in mind: strengthening Jewish pride in the face of growing antisemitism.

On January 19th at 7pm, Federation is holding its annual Main Event to encourage the Charlotte community to raise funds for the pressing needs of the local community and the work Federation does to convene the Jewish community, especially in times of crisis.

“The Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte has witnessed first-hand the resilience of the Jewish community over the past year, and we want to carry this strength into the launch of our 2023 campaign,” said Sue Worrel, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte. “We have already seen the impact of our 2022 campaign on enriching Jewish life here in Charlotte and globally, and we look forward to continuing this work with a special focus on education, security, and Jewish pride.”

Juju Chang, the Emmy Award winning co-anchor of ABC News Nightline, will be the featured speaker. During her speech, Chang will detail the journey of her Korean-Jewish identity and discuss the historical parallels between anti-Asian hate and antisemitism.

The event will be chaired by long-time Federation volunteers David and Julie Sheffer, whose family history in North Carolina dates back generations.

Julie’s family grew up in Oxford and Greensboro, NC, while David is a fourth generation Charlottean. As they have seen the Charlotte Jewish community change and grow over the years, Federation has remained a constant presence.

“Federation is so much more than a fundraising and allocating vehicle – it’s the backbone of our community that ensures the sustainability of vital services and programs,” said David and Julie Sheffer. “Our hope is that this year’s Main Event lights an even greater fire in our Jewish community to band together, to support Federation’s critical mission, and to be inspired to act to combat antisemitism and other forms of hate.”

The need to address antisemitism and hate will be a reoccurring topic throughout the evening, especially after a rise in antisemitism nationally and in popular culture over the past few years. On a local level, ADL’s annual Antisemitism Audit showed a 131% increase in antisemitic incidents in the state of North Carolina in 2021.

In April 2022, Federation launched Outshine Hate: Together Against Antisemitism, an initiative created to enable people to identify and address antisemitism while empowering them to be proud of their Jewish identity.

It is this idea of Jewish pride and optimism that David and Julie hope is instilled in the event’s attendees at the end of the night.

“In response to growing antisemitism, we chose to lean in with education, awareness, and resources,” said David and Julie Sheffer. “As a result, we have spent more time speaking with our children and our non-Jewish friends about what’s going on in the world and why it’s not right. We want our community to be able to proudly live a Jewish life, so it’s important that we work together with Federation to invest the time and resources to tackle this issue head-on.”

The Main Event will take place on Thursday, January 19 at 7 pm at Temple Israel. Tickets are available online at https://jewishfederationcharlotte.regfox.com/2023-main-event.

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