Why I Care

Carol and Mort Siegler Fund Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council

"We need to make statements and be proactive.”

By Ilene Denton March 29, 2017 Published in the April 2017 issue of Sarasota Magazine

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Carol and Mort Siegler

Longtime human rights advocates Carol and Mort Siegler stepped up to fund the national Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council recently created by the American Jewish Committee. Thirty-six American Muslims and Jews—corporate CEOs, politicians and clergy—are strategizing ways to combat hate crimes and address immigration. Says Brian Lipton, director of AJC’s regional office, “If we only talk to people who are like us, we can’t make change happen.”

“We need to have commonality with people who have the same problems we have,” says Carol. “We need to encourage people to understand us as we need to understand them.”

“I was brought up in Cuba. I was 12 years old [in 1939] when the St. Louis sailed to Havana from Europe with Jewish refugees and was refused. My mother and her [temple] Sisterhood got into little boats and went across the bay to take food to them. I [saw] at an early age what you have to do to help people.”

“Anti-Semitism in this country is rampant [again]. We need to make statements and be proactive.”

“A group of Muslims [in February] raised money to repair the Jewish cemetery in Missouri that was vandalized. That’s the whole idea: for them to reach to us and for us to reach out to them.”

To learn more about the American Jewish Committee, visit ajc.org.

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