Abraham and Anne Ratner Scholar-in-Residence Weekend Featuring Frank Meeink – 4/21-22

Friday, April 21st – Saturday, April 22nd

As a teenager, Frank Meeink was one of the most well-known skinhead gang members in the country. He had his own public access talk show, he appeared on several media outlets as a spokesman for neo-Nazi topics, and he regularly recruited members of his South Philadelphia neighborhood to join his skinhead gang.

As we watch the shocking numbers of antisemitic acts rise globally, who better to help unpack this reality? Frank Meeink will share his personal story and offer insight to understand this growing phenomenon.

Meeink says the biggest change in the skinhead movement since he left is how easily members can spread their message and communicate with one another.

As Jews, we honor the act of teshuvah (repentance). When you hear Frank’s story, and more importantly about his life post prison, you’ll understand why his message is so important at this moment.

Our Schedule:

Friday, April 21st

  • 5:30 p.m. Shabbat Dinner – Reservations are closed.
  • 6:15 p.m. Kabbalat Shabbat Service followed by
    Frank Meeink – My Story, My Way: How I lived, survived, and now thrive.

Saturday, April 22nd

  • 9:30 a.m. Shabbat Services
  • 11:45 a.m. Kiddush Lunch
  • Frank will speak following lunch.
    The Current Rise in Antisemitism: How we got here and how to address it.

Children and Child Care:

Please note, some of the material discussed may be difficult and not appropriate for children.

Child care will be available:

  • Friday, April 21st, from 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 22nd, from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.


About Frank Meeink

At 17, Meeink was arrested after he had nearly killed a man and had kidnapped another. Meeink used a gun in the kidnapping, which led to him being tried as an adult. He was sentenced to three years in prison.

Prison changed his life. He met people of many different ethnicities. Due to a shared interest in sports, Meeink became friends with many African American prisoners.

After being released from prison, Frank tried to return to his past life, but realized that during his time in prison he had learned that he did not have the same prejudices he had prior to prison. Frank went back to where he had spent his childhood in South Philadelphia and by helping with the local hockey team, the Philadelphia Flyers, he created Harmony Through Hockey. This organization was created to give young kids a chance to stay out of the way of violence and have fun while participating.

He also visits schools and gives lectures on his life and how to avoid falling into violence and crime.

Looking for ways to make a difference and further distance himself from his past actions, Frank reached out to the FBI. It was the FBI that recommended Meeink contact the Anti-Defamation League — which he did. He now regularly lectures to students about racial diversity and acceptance, and wrote the memoir about his past.

About Anne and Abraham Ratner (z”l)

Anne Ratner and her beloved husband, Abraham Ratner, of blessed memory, established our Abraham and Anne Ratner Scholar-in-Residence Weekend several decades ago. The Ratner family had been active and supportive members of Tifereth Israel Synagogue since its earliest years. Anne and Abraham’s devotion to Jewish education and the perpetuation of Yiddishkeit was evidenced not only by their sponsorship of this weekend, but by their support of many worthy Jewish and communal organizations and charities in San Diego and throughout the world. Tifereth Israel Synagogue’s Abraham Ratner Torah School was named in Abe’s honor. Anne was honored by Tifereth Israel in 1993 for establishing the Anne Ratner Endowment Fund, providing scholarships for deserving students of the Abraham Ratner Torah School.

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