The Annual Meeting for the ADL-CRC Plains States Region took place on Sunday, January 13 in the JCC Social Hall. The meeting marked the end of Board Chair Jim Fried’s term and the installation of Danny Cohn as Board Chair.
The event opened with opening remarks from Jim Fried and Alan Potash, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Omaha. Regional Director Dr. Mary-Beth Muskin introduced new ADL-CRC staff members Jamie Skog-Burke as Words to Action coordinator and Stephanie Shakhirev as Community Development Director. Jamie is an Omaha native who returned home over this past summer. She has a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary and has spent the last four years working as a Hillel Professional on both the University of Denver and the University of Michigan campuses. She will be expanding on the “Words to Action” program, empowering middle school, high school, and college students as they address anti-Semitism at school and in the community.
Stephanie Shakhirev is the owner and director of Media on Main, a boutique marketing firm in Malvern, Iowa. Stephanie recently re-located to southwest Iowa from Colorado Springs where she spent ten years as the co-founder and Business Development Director of a successful web development firm that was acquired by a larger IT corporation in 2016. During that period, she also worked for Mayors Steve Bach and John Suthers as the President of Colorado Springs Sister Cities International, a Washington, D.C. based non-profit that manages the city’s seven international municipal alliances. As Community Development Director, Stephanie is very excited to forge new bonds and strong alliances within the Jewish Community.
Newly installed Board Chair Danny Cohn announced the formation of the ADL-CRC Alliance, a group of emerging leaders who will act as ambassadors for the ADL in the community. Tri-chairs of the Alliance are Lindsay Belmont, Steve Hogan and Megan Spomer.
The meeting also featured a question and answer segment with Bob Wolfson, former ADL-CRC Regional Director and National ADL staff and Mary-Beth Muskin. The two addressed issues from the historical background of the ADL-CRC to national and regional perspectives. The meeting included a video highlighting the events of the past year, produced by ADL-CRC Administrative and Communications staff Scott Kurz as well as testimonial from Stella Daskalakis Thurkill, a trained ADL facilitator and broadcast journalist from Sioux City, Iowa.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was founded in 1913 “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Now the nation’s premier civil right/human relations agency, the ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all
Locally, the ADL-CRC office was established in 1950. In a unique relationship, the ADL also serves as the Community Relations Committee (CRC) and is the central resource for information on social issues and problems affecting the local Jewish community in Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas. The ADL-CRC attempts to foster conditions conducive to creative Jewish living in a free society.