Jewish Community Relations Councilof San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties


Anti-Semitism and Criticism of Israel

May 24, 2018

Join JCRC on May 24 for a Town Hall examining the ways criticism of Israel can cross the line into anti-Semitism. How does it manifest and how best can we respond? The Town Hall will feature a panel of community leaders speaking from their own unique perspectives.

Thursday, May 24, 2018 | 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Henry M. Gunn High School Library, 780 Arastadero Road, Palo Alto

RSVP required. Refreshments and snacks will be provided.


Vlad Khaykin. Associate Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League
Rev. Kaloma Smith, University AME Zion Church in Palo Alto
Rabbi Melanie Aron, Congregation Shir Hadash


Karen Stiller, Middle East Project Director, JCRC


Rev. Kaloma Smith was born in Jamaica and reared in Mt. Vernon, New York. He developed a genuine heart for people while serving in several ministerial positions in New York, including at Greater Centennial Church, Foster AME Zion Church and Dixon AME Zion Church. While actively involved in ministry, Pastor Smith was also Senior Managing Director of Home Theatre of Long Island. At the apex of a promising corporate career, his spiritual father, Bishop W. Darin Moore, handpicked him to lead the nearly one hundred year old University African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Palo Alto, California. Pastor Smith was ordained in the summer of 2013. Pastor Smith was ordained in the summer of 2013. He currently lives in Santa Clara, CA with his wife, Larin Smith.

Vlad Khaykin is Associate Regional Director for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). He was born in the Soviet Union, arriving with his family in the US in 1989, receiving asylum as Jewish refugees. Raised in the Bay Area, Vlad studied economics and business management at the University of California, Santa Cruz. After graduation, he worked at several local Jewish educational organizations before earning dual Master’s degrees in Non-Profit Leadership and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University. Vlad worked in the International Programs department of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston. Most recently, Vlad served as the Assistant Director for Communications and Advocacy for the American Jewish Committee in Philadelphia.

Rabbi Melanie Aron has been Rabbi of Congregation Shir Hadash in Los Gatos since 1990. She was trained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati as well as the New York campus and ordained in 1981. After ordination, served as the Assistant Rabbi/Educator in Morristown, New Jersey and then in a small congregation in Brooklyn New York. Rabbi Aron serves on the boards of The American Leadership Forum–Silicon Valley, the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, and on the Project Advisory Board of the Elder Abuse Initiative of Santa Clara County. She previously served on the national board of the Union for Reform Judaism and Chair of the Pacific Central West region of the World Union for Progressive Judaism/Association of Reform Zionists of America. Rabbi Aron is involved in various interfaith activities including People Acting in Community Together, Silicon Valley Faces and in interfaith dialogues with the Muslim community.

This Town Hall is the third in a series of discussions about Israel as part of JCRC’s yearlong consensus-building process. If you missed our first two Town Hall, click here to watch the videos.