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Global Symposium on Sports and Society: Anti-Semitism and Sports Program



The morning sessions centered on the realities of hate and its impact on society, with a focus on anti-Semitism in sports.

  • Program Starts

    • Anthony Davidson
      Welcome: Anthony R. Davidson, dean, Fordham School of Professional and Continuing Studies
    • Bruce Buck
      Opening Remarks and Video: Bruce Buck, chairman, Chelsea Football Club
  • Morning Keynote

    Anti-Semitism Resurgent: Understanding and Countering It

    • Ken Jacobson
      Ken Jacobson, Deputy National Director, Anti-Defamation League

    What does this new reality say about the fundamental essence of anti-Semitism? And what does it tell us about how to counter it, including in and through the arena of the sports world?

  • Session 1

    The Impact of Hate on Society

    • David Gibson
      Moderator: David Gibson, director, Fordham University’s Center on Religion and Culture; award-winning religion and society writer
    • Christian Araos
      Christian Araos, freelance journalist; covers Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer
    • Charlie Davies
      Charlie Davies, New England Revolution Club ambassador and former player
    • Tibi Galis
      Tibi Galis, executive director, Auschwitz Institute
    • Oren Segal
      Oren Segal, director, Center on Extremism, Anti-Defamation League
  • Session 2

    The Realities: Anti-Semitism and Sports

    • Spencer Ross
      Moderator: Spencer Ross, American sportscaster who has called play-by-play for every professional New York metropolitan area sports franchise except the Mets
    • Rola Brentlin
      Rola Brentlin, head of special projects, Chelsea FC, leading the club’s efforts to combat anti-Semitism. Extensive global experience as a columnist covering anti-semitism
    • Anthony Clavane
      Anthony Clavane, sports journalist and award-winning author of Promised Land, A Yorkshire Tragedy, and Does Your Rabbi Know You’re Here?
    • Alan Freedman
      Alan Freedman, director, Jewish Sports Heritage Association
    • Andrei Markovits
      Andrei Markovits, professor, University of Michigan; thought leader and prolific writer on sports; author of The Passport as Home: Comfort in Rootlessness
  • Session 3

    The Realities: Anti-Semitism on the Field

    • Grant Wahl
      Moderator: Grant Wahl, lead soccer reporter, Sports Illustrated
    • Joe Bednarsh
      Joe Bednarsh, athletics director, Yeshiva University
    • Jeff Bukantz
      Jeff Bukantz, president, Maccabi USA; former captain of the U.S. fencing team; Olympic fencer and referee
    • Gedaliah Goodman
      Gedaliah Goodman, professional racehorse trainer
    • Erit Yellen
      Erit Yellen, president and founder of Orna Drive Productions, which focuses on creating sports stories for good


The afternoon sessions featured thought leaders ranging from educators to athletes to media personalities to executives discussing how to use sports to effect change.

  • Lunch

    • Stephen Smith
      VIP Lunch: With an address by Stephen Smith, OBE, executive director, USC SHOAH Foundation and UNESCO Chair on Genocide Education
  • Afternoon Keynote

    1936 vs. 2020—Then and Now

    • Ross Greenburg
      Ross Greenburg, former president, HBO Sports; president, Ross Greenburg Productions; winner of 54 Sports Emmy awards; intimately involved with The Fastest Kid on the Block: The Marty Glickman Story, the legendary athlete and announcer's autobiography.
    • Bob Ahrens
      Introduction by Bob Ahrens, retired WFUV executive sports producer
  • Session 4

    The Playbook for Victory: In the Classroom and the Locker Room

    • Irv Smalls
      Moderator: Irv Smalls, executive director, FC Harlem L.I.O.N.S., a youth development and soccer program that uses the world's game as a vehicle to transform communities inside and out
    • Yael Averbuch
      Yael Averbuch, executive director, National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Players Association; former soccer player in NWSL and U.S. national team
    • Vince Gennaro
      Vince Gennaro, associate dean, NYU Tisch Institute for Global Sport; author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball and consultant to Major League Baseball teams
    • Boyd Melson
      Boyd Melson, major in the U.S. Army Reserve; three-time World Military Champion boxer, with multiple national and All-Army medals; alternate for the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team
    • Michael Neuman
      Michael Neuman, prize winner, CBS’ Million Dollar Mile; athlete and psychotherapist who uses sports to create awareness against prejudices
  • Session 5

    The Playbook for Victory: In the Boardroom

    • Howie Rumberg
      Moderator: Howie Rumberg, acting global sports editor, Associated Press
    • Bruce Buck
      Bruce Buck, chairman, Chelsea Football Club
    • Gene Doris
      Gene Doris, inductee, National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame
    • Anna Isaacson
      Anna Isaacson, NFL’s first-ever and current senior vice president of social responsibility
    • Leigh Steinberg
      Leigh Steinberg, CEO, Steinberg Sports & Entertainment; sports super-agent
  • Closing Keynote

    Driving Towards Acceptance: The Role of Sports in Overcoming Hate

    • Ron Mix
      Ron Mix, NFL Hall of Fame offensive tackle and motivational speaker

    An iconic name in and outside of the huddle, Pro Football Hall of Famer Ron Mix credits his Jewish faith as a key driver in his successful career. Drawing upon his own experiences, Mix will discuss strategies that organizations, players, and fans can implement to positively impact the future of sports and society.

Thank you to our 2019 partners and supporters

New England Revolution Chelsea Football Club
Anti-Defamation League: Fighting Hate For Good Associated Press CO Communications: Marketing, Public Relations, Design USC Shoah Foundation: The Institute for Visual History and Education Hillels of Westchester Eden Wok Maccabi USA: Building Jewish Pride Through Sports Sports Business Institute Red Oak Transportation The Conversation Jewish Sports Heritage Association, Inc.