PRIMER rewards a speaker for suggesting ways to counter anti-Semitic rhetoric


Josephine Gon

Jo from Johannesburg will be the guest speaker at the PRIMER awards ceremony on Sunday, April 10. His subject will be “Tools to combat anti-Semitic rhetoric”.

Although her official name is Josephine Gon, she prefers to be called Jo, and she is the vice-chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County.

In Palm Beach County, as well as here and in many Jewish federations across the country, the JCRCs are standing committees that, among other functions, often serve as first responders when acts of anti-Semitism occur and require a public condemnation.

The PRIMER Awards Ceremony annually honors local people who best personify the motto of PRIMER’s founder, the late Dr. Norman Gross, that ‘silence is not golden’ when it comes to anti prejudice. -Israelis reported in major local and national media. PRIMER stands for Promoting Responsible Reporting in the Middle East.

This year’s PRIMER award winners are Mike Deeson and Laureen Jaffe, hosts of the ‘Third Opinion’ podcast. Deeson is a 12-time Emmy-winning investigative journalist and Jaffee is an active volunteer and former board member of the JCC and Tampa Conference.

The program will take place at Temple B’nai Israel, 1685 S. Belcher Road, Clearwater, beginning at 10 a.m.

Prior to Gon’s role with the Palm Beach County JCRC, she served as that federation’s director for Israel and Overseas. Before moving to Florida six years ago, she was executive director of the Jewish Federation in Springfield, Illinois.

Gon was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, but has lived in the United States for 30 years. She graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg with a degree in Industrial Psychology and Industrial Sociology and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management from the University’s Business School.

She graduated from the 2021 Leadership Palm Beach County Engage

Program and sits on WPTV’s Community Diversity Advisory Committee.

Tickets for the PRIMER Awards Ceremony are $15 and can be purchased at www.JewishGulfCoast.org/Primerawards. For more information, email info@JewishGulfCoast.org.

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