ADL Torch of Liberty Gala

by Jacqueline Bull November 6, 2018


honoree-lorne-polgerThe Anti-Defamation League in San Diego (ADL) is holding their Torch of Liberty Award dinner for the first time in six years to recognize long time volunteer Lorne Polger. The dinner will be held on Nov. 27, at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine at 6:30 p.m.

The Torch of Liberty Award will be presented to Lorne Polger for his three decade commitment to ADL.

“He’s been with the ADL since he was a law student up at UCLA in the 80’s. He’s been involved for many, many years. He has served in San Diego as board chair, as chair of the civil rights committee, he is a national commissioner currently. And he is just one of the most deserving people – very committed to his community, very committed to ADL,” said Lindsey Zipkin, Associate Director of Development for ADL in San Diego.

“From my own personal interaction, he is just so passionate about this work. He has his own story to tell about what guided him to get involved initially that is very powerful … He raised his family here in San Diego and has always been a huge champion of ours. He’s involved in other issues, but I think ADL has always been something that is very special to him. He is very involved in this. He is excited for it to be a success, not in an ego type of way, but he wants to see ADL shine and be able to help us raise a lot of money for our education programs and our security programs, things like that. He’s wonderful, he is truly wonderful,” said Lindsey.

Also being recognized at this dinner is Leram Silberstein with the Rising Leader Award.

“Leram is just one of those leaders and volunteers that every organization hopes to have. And anything you need, she is there and enthusiastic and puts 100 percent in. And what we really love about honoring her is that she is sort of we say in the legacy of Lorne, someone who is young, who is already very committed,” said Lindsey.

“He sort of represents the long term vision for any volunteer, and she represents the early stages. Both of them absolutely if we had 10 Lornes and 10 Lerams, we would be beyond blessed,” she added.

The keynote speaker of the event is a man named Christian Picciolini who is a former skinhead leader.

“After having children he sort of realized that he was creating a world he didn’t want his children to inherit. So he has now become a very loud and outspoken activist in the anti-hate community and he helped start an organization called Life After Hate, which basically brings people out of these hate movements and rehabilitates them into society,” said Lindsey.

The dinner is an opportunity to get better acquainted with the work of ADL and their mission and to that Lindsey expresses there are many misconceptions.

“Especially now I think we are in such a polarized world and country, people tend to see organizations like ADL as partisan, and we are a thousand percent not a political organization. We are a principled organization, which means we are going to speak to the issues that directly relate to Jewish and American Democratic values, but we are not in the business of saying which party is right and which party is wrong,” Lindsey said.

Overall, Lindsey expressed excitement and an invitation for people to come out and see what ADL and the community have done together, “I think it is going to be a beautiful event and I’m hopeful that the community recognizes the value of ADL especially at this moment in time, comes out to support Lorne and celebrate his work, to celebrate our community and the efforts we’ve made together to fight hate.”


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