The Ninth Candle, a New Nonprofit Organization, Launching in Chicago

Radical New Approach to Ending Antisemitism in America

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, January 19, 2021 / -- The Ninth Candle, a new nonprofit organization, is launching in Chicago. Its mission is to end antisemitism by sharing knowledge. This mission will be fulfilled through professional development programs for teachers, educational programs for students, and diversity and inclusion workshops for businesses. The programs for teachers and students will always be free of charge. The Ninth Candle incorporated in September 2020 and registered as a charity with 501(c)3 status in December 2020.

Dr. Luke Berryman, an educator and an expert on Nazi Germany, was inspired to found The Ninth Candle after discovering that his late grandfather had lost dozens of relatives in the Holocaust – a secret he took to the grave.

Board Members include Ms. Sarah Palomo, an Associate Director of Admissions at The University of Chicago, and a specialist in Diversity and Inclusion; and Dr. Aubrey Daniels, an Associate Professor of Counseling at Rider University.

There is an urgent and immediate need for The Ninth Candle. In September 2020, the Claims Conference ran a 50-state survey of Americans aged 18-to-39. One in eight did not know what the Holocaust was, nearly a quarter thought it was exaggerated or a myth, and nearly half could not name a single Nazi camp or ghetto.

Meanwhile, Jews have become one of America's most discriminated-against groups. Even the broadest estimates say that they make up less than 3% of the population, but the Anti-Defamation League recorded 2,107 antisemitic incidents across the country in 2019, up 12% from 2018. Antisemitism was a key ingredient in the Capitol Hill Riots: an Israeli journalist was abused while live on air, swastika flags were shown on livestreams, and one male rioter wore a hoodie with "Camp Auschwitz" printed on it.

The Ninth Candle's first educational programs took place in December 2020 at Carrollwood Day School in Tampa, FL. One 8th grade student said, "I really enjoyed this presentation. It was very entertaining and taught me a lot. Dr. Berryman spoke about rebel fighters and people whom we've never heard about before yet they made such a difference." Mr. Scott Sandoval, a Language & Literature teacher at Carrollwood, said "I fully recommend these educational programs for both students and staff. [Dr. Berryman] connected with our students and challenged us as a community to think about our responsibility to preserving the past."

The Ninth Candle will hold a virtual launch event at 5:00pm CST on Jan. 30th, 2021. Those interested in attending can register on the organization’s website. Teachers, students, or businesses interested in arranging a program should contact <>.

The Ninth Candle
-is redirecting narratives about the Holocaust by starting its programs from the premise that Jewish people are survivors
-is committed to diversity and inclusion, at both Board and workforce level
-uses exclusively nonviolent language - for The Ninth Candle, antisemitism is to be "ended," not "fought," "tackled," or "combatted"
-is nonpartisan and promotes respectful discussion as a tool of healing


Luke Berryman
The Ninth Candle
+1 347-606-5323
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