Published: Sept. 13, 2023

Antisemitism and Being Jewish in the US

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This panel discussion focused on the rise of antisemitism in the last decade—a rise that some might say has never disappeared and has resurfaced with events like the march on Charlottesville, the attack on the Tree of Life synagogue, and recent comments by celebrities. This event was part of the semi-annual Difficult Dialogues event — a series of panel conversations that bring together people from on and off campus to discuss challenging issues from their own perspectives.

Difficult Dialogues logoIt is hard to know how to talk about antisemitism, and this difficult dialogue engaged with multiple topics as well as what it means to be Jewish today, especially in a multi-religious and multi-racial space such as Boulder county. Among the questions our panelists pondered was is: “How does antisemitism manifest in our communities today?", "Are Jews white?", "How is antisemitism different from or similar to to other forms of racism, bias, exclusion, and discrimination?", "Is criticism of Israel antisemitic?"

Event Information


Alex Bulkacz

Alex Bulkacz, MD, Family Medicine Specialist in Boulder County

Dr. Alex Bulkacz, MD, is a family medicine physician who has practiced in Colorado for over 30 years. He has experienced antisemitism in both the professional setting as well as personal, particularly during my time growing up in the American South but also here in Colorado. Dr. Bulkacz attended the Medical College of Pennsylvania and completed his residency in family medicine at the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver.

Gregg Drinkwater

Gregg Drinkwater, PhD, inaugural Program Director for the UC Berkeley Antisemitism Education Initiative (AEI)

Moderator for Difficult Dialogues Panel Discussion

Dr. Gregg Drinkwater is the inaugural Program Director for the UC Berkeley Antisemitism Education Initiative (AEI), a project of the Center for Jewish Studies. An award-winning writer, educator, trainer, researcher, and organizational leader, Drinkwater’s work is rooted in fostering inclusive communities. He earned a PhD in U.S. History at the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a specialization in Jewish history and LGBTQ history. As a visiting professor at Boulder and at Rutgers University, Drinkwater has taught courses on American Jewish history; genocide and the Holocaust; queer U.S. history; gender and sexuality in Judaism; and global Jewish history from the ancient world to the present. Starting in 2003, Drinkwater served as the founding executive director of Jewish Mosaic, a national Jewish LGBTQ organization, where he built and managed a team across multiple cities, designed and oversaw the creation of a library of Jewish community resources, and conducted research, trainings, and conferences on issues of inclusion. 

Stacey Aviva Flint

Stacey Aviva Flint, Director of Education and Community Engagement with Jewish Federations’ JEDI Initiative (Jewish Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) 

Stacey Aviva Flint is a longtime nonprofit professional in the areas of  Community Development and Jewish Engagement. She hails from a multicultural family of five generations and is passionate about relationship building to combat racism and antisemitism. Stacey is a national and internationally sought speaker and writer with Universities, Jewish institutions, and various coalitions of Jews of Color.

Jerry Pinsker

Jerry Pinsker, Chair of the Boulder Steering Committee of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)

Jerry spent 31 years as a middle school educator, 5 in the NYC public schools and 26 in the Aurora Public Schools. Since retiring, Jerry has been a facilitator for the Anti-Defamation League's World of Difference program working with public school students throughout Colorado on anti-bias and diversity education. In addition, Jerry is a facilitator for ADL’s Words to Action program, working with Jewish students on strategies to recognize and combat antisemitism. Along with his work with ADL, Jerry was the facilities director for the Boulder Jewish Community Center. Jerry has lived in Boulder for over 45 years with his wife of 50 years, Marilyn. Both are founding members of Congregation Bonai Shalom. He has two children, Rachel and Aaron, one son-in-law Ryan and a granddaughter Daliah.  

Pedro Silva

Pedro Silva, CHA Community Advisory Board member and former pastor at Boulder’s First Congregational UCC

Pedro Silva, YOUnify Director of Engagement, grew up with a Jewish mother and is the former pastor at Boulder’s First Congregational UCC. With his background, Pedro brings a unqiue perspective to this panelist discussion. For 3 years, Pedro served as the State Representative for the Boulder Caucus of Together Colorado, an organization of the Faith In Action Network, where he worked on a variety of issues at the local to state levels from affordable housing, gun violence, and voting to living wage legislation and the Family Leave Act. Pedro has hosted numerous in person and online conversations on race in Boulder County, has been an advocate for the homeless community, and has made a mark on the bridging movement through his volunteer work with Living Room Conversations and now as a Director of Engagement with YOUnify.

Rabbi Marc Soloway

Rabbi Marc Soloway, Rabbi at Bonai Shalom (Boulder)

Rabbi Marc Soloway has been Bonai Shalom’s Spiritual Leader in Boulder, CO since 2004, the same year that he was ordained at The Ziegler School for Rabbinic Studies at The American Jewish University in Los Angeles. His rabbinical training spanned six years in London, Jerusalem, and Los Angeles. Before that, he was an actor and storyteller in his native London, and developed and performed a spirited one-man show of Jewish stories called The Empty Chair, as well as a show for children called The Jewish Princess and Other Stories with the acclaimed Besht Tellers Theatre Company. Marc is a fellow of Rabbis without Borders, an alum of the Institute of Jewish Spirituality, the former chair of Hazon’s rabbinical council and was in the Forward’s 2014 list of America’s most influential rabbis. Marc values dialogue and diversity and strives to integrate creativity, spirituality and sustainability into his life and his work.

Difficult Dialogues Series

Difficult Dialogues events are not a debate; this series centers around topics that a majority of people find difficult or uncomfortable to talk about. Past Difficult Dialogues have centered around topics of abortion, being Black in Boulder, making mistakes, power, and more. You can find the full list of past Difficult Dialogue topics at

We are committed to fostering productive dialogues in the hope that minds and hearts might expand and that mutual respect, understanding, and perhaps self-examination can be fostered by meeting with and listening to each other respectfully. These dialogues are meant to allow us to see each other as human. If you are going to participate, the goal is to develop the capacity of talking about hard issues with as much care for self and others as possible.

Event Hosts

This event is hosted by Grace Commons ChurchCU Libraries, and CU Boulder's Center for Humanities & the Arts (CHA). This event is open to the public.


This event is at Grace Commons Church at 1820 15th Street, Boulder, CO 80302. Please enter through the doors on 16th street adjacent to the chapel. There is street parking as well as a parking garage (15th & Pearl Parking Garage for $3) if you planned to drive to the event.