Season 1, Episode 8

Anti-Semitism: Is it truly on the rise?


Jennifer McKenna

Rebecca Turk



Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal

Ahavath Achim Synagogue

Guest: Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal

Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal grew up in Los Angeles. As the youngest of three children and the son of physicians, Laurence learned the importance of education from the example set by his older siblings and parents. He graduated from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles with a degree in Psychology and spent the next few years working as a research coordinator studying the effects of the narcotic, Methamphetamine, on the human brain. After several years, Laurence decided to leave clinical research to serve the Jewish community, eventually earning a Masters of Arts degree in Rabbinic Studies and Rabbinic ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University in May 2008.

During his studies at the Ziegler school, Laurence served as the rabbinic intern at Adat Ari El in North Hollywood and at Congregation Beth Meier in Studio City, California. These experiences, coupled with his own memories of the factors that brought him back to Judaism, compelled Laurence to create and serve as the director of the Conservative Kollel – a learning community allowing people the opportunity to express their Jewish identity and soul through learning. Since joining Ahavath Achim Synagogue in Atlanta, Laurence has played a significant role in the rejuvenation and strengthening of the synagogue and greater Atlanta Jewish community. He founded the Community Beit Midrash, a learning center at which a gathering of Jewish educators and leaders of all stripes come to teach and learn together. He is also the creator of The Hunger Project, a community of advocates helping to bring hunger relief and food stability to Georgians. He currently serves on the Steering Committee for the America Jewish Committee’s young adult cohort – ACCESS; is on a special programming committee for the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival and participated in the ADL/Breman Holocaust Studies Summer Institute (2013). Laurence has been a featured speaker and coordinator for interfaith gatherings hosted by churches and Islamic centers, as well as an instructor and facilitator for Introduction to Judaism seminars. Laurence’s greatest accomplishment is to be married to his wife, Brooke, and to be father to four children – Avram Eli (A.E.), Ariela, Ma’ayan and Naftali. 

About This Episode

With the escalation of mass shootings, the gun debate ensues. Yet lately we’ve learned of shootings at synagogues, increasing the speculation that Anti-Semitism is on the rise. Join Jennifer as she speaks with Rabbi Rosenthal about his views on Anti-Semitism, its history and implications for us all today and in the future.