Where Were You This Past Week?

Lisa McDullin, Melissa Mc Kinlay and Charles Bender

On Tuesday, the Place of Hope held its Second Annual Human Trafficking, Prevention and Education Luncheon and Illumination Awards where, among the community members honored was County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay.

Charles Bender, Place of Hope Founding CEO noted his commitment to restoring hope to abused children, homeless youth and human trafficking victims in our backyard.


Robert Tanen, Arlene Herson, Maziar Bahari, Pamela Polani and Robert Weinroth

That evening we joined over 700 community members at Boca West Country Club to learn more about the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s urgent work and to listen to Iranian Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari (who will be the recipient of the 2020 Elie Wiesel Award at the National Tribute Dinner in April).

Bahari is being recognized with the Museum’s highest honor for exhibiting exceptional courage in bringing the truth of the Holocaust to the Middle East and being a powerful voice against antisemitism.

Bahari is the author of Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival, the story of his imprisonment by the Iranian regime, which was chronicled in the feature film Rosewater by Jon Stewart.

Jon Kaye, Pamela Weinroth, John Tolbert, Bonnie Kaye and Robert Weinroth

In 2018, he released the documentary 82 Names, produced in cooperation with the Museum, which tells the story of Mansour Omari, a human rights activist who survived imprisonment and torture by the Assad regime in Syria.

Bahari is also the founder of IranWire, a forum reaching millions of Iranians each month with objective news and accurate, relevant information about the Holocaust.

The dinner also included a special commemoration, recognizing International Holocaust Remembrance Day coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Sheri Zvi, Jesse Morton, Tracy Labgold and Oren Segal

Wednesday evening the the Anti-Defamation League held a Dessert and Conversation at Woodfield Country Club where ADL’s Director of the Center on Extremism, Oren Segal, had a conversation with Jesse Morton.

Morton, once a jihadist propagandist (a/k/a Younes Abdullah Muhammad) ran Revolution Muslim, a NYC-based organization active in the early 2000’s and connected to a number of terrorist cases, creating English-language propaganda on al-Qaeda’s ideology. In 2011, following his arrest and incarceration, Morton de-radicalized.

Morton now runs Parallel Networks, an organization he co-founded with the former NYPD official who monitored and ultimately incarcerated him.

Robert and Pamela Weinroth, Sheri Zvi, Tracy Labgold, Lori and Scott Berger

Morton also runs LightUponKight, an online ecosystem that utilizes a transdisciplinary network theory dedicated to combating polarization, hate and violent extremism by providing the same sense of identity, meaning, significance and camaraderie that extremists provide their recruits.

Morton is certified in substance abuse and mental health counseling, is widely read in Islamic theology and jurisprudence and has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Columbia University.

The 6th Annual Brain Bowl luncheon, on Friday,  benefited the Alzheimer’s Association; Alzheimer’s Community Care; and Florida Atlantic University’s Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing.

Diane Shawcross, Pat McCarthy, Bonnie Hildebrand, Gary Hildebrand, Silva Alexandrov, Pamela Polani and Bonnie Judson.

As in years past, the luncheon provided an opportunity for community and business leaders to work with one another and support these important non-profit organizations.

Caring for those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia poses a huge cost to those in the labor force, in terms of personal stress and lost work hours.

Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias cost American businesses at least $61 billion a year in lost productivity, related to employees providing care for individuals with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, including Lewy Body Dementia, from which many with Parkinson’s suffer.

Did you know 1 in every 3 individuals in Palm Beach County is currently impacted by Dementia and/or Alzheimer’s? Alzheimer’s remains the only leading disease in our country that has no survivors.