For decades, the ADL has helped Westport.
The organization — the Connecticut chapter of what was originally called the Anti-Defamation League — has:
- Offered anti-bias training programs for teachers, students, parents and community members
- Provided Holocaust education
- Responded to anti-Semitic and other hate incidents
- Sponsored Police Chief Foti Koskinas for a special course on extremist and terrorist threats, for senior-level law enforcement personnel
- Helped begin the Kool to be Kind initiative
- Worked with Staples High School staff on the new “Connections” program
- Brought former neo-Nazi Frank Meeink, and ex-Westboro Baptist Church members Megan and Grace Phelps-Roper here
- Worked with every synagogue in town on the interactive “Words to Action” program, for students from middle school through college.
“We will always be there for our community,” says ADL Connecticut director Steve Ginsburg, a Westport resident. “Now, we’re bringing the community together with a ‘show of unity.'”
It will be quite a show. “ADL Voices” is a major fundraiser, on Saturday, November 9 (Klein Auditorium in Bridgeport, 8 p.m.).
Trombone Shorty — the New Orleans-based jazz, funk, R&B, hip hop, pop and rock trombone, trumpet, organ and tuba player — will star.
Award-winning gospel artist Pastor Marcia Fountain will solo. David Letterman’s bandleader Paul Shaffer emcees. Westporter Sarah Green serves as artistic director.
The Voices Choir — a talented, diverse group of musicians, singers and dancers from across Fairfield County — will perform, along with the Pivot Ministries Choir from Bridgeport.
Students from Staples High School, the Bridgeport public schools and Neighborhood Studios will sing, along with those from Fairfield Prep, Fairfield University, Keys Bridgeport and the Manhattan School of Music, and various church and synagogue choirs.
Westport Academy of Dance’s senior company introduces a piece specially choreographed for the event.
Other Westporters involved include the Staples Service League of Boys; ADL board member and event chair Claudia Cohen, along with many volunteers.
It’s truly be a “unifying” night. The fundraising benefit and community gathering is designed to “bring people together, foster dialogue and build mutual respect,” Ginsburg says.
It will also be very entertaining, quite inspirational, and tons of fun.
(For more information, including tickets and sponsorship opportunities, click here. Major sponsors include Bercham Moses LLP, Norwalk Hospital and Terex.)