Eli Goldsmith, the podcaster, musician, and rabbi behind Unity Bookings, a global entertainment promotion, appeared on the most recent episode of Podcast Against Antisemitism where he spoke about tackling antisemitism through art and entertainment, and revealed his own experiences of antisemitism.
Commenting on previous podcast guests, musicians Westside Gravy and Moshe Reuven, and comedian Elon Gold, three talents whom Mr Goldsmith has worked with and who use their respective art forms to combat antisemitism, the promoter said that such acts were “saving lives”.
“We have to create a youth movement in the Jewish world and empower musicians,” he said.
Additionally, he encouraged social media users to share content that they find empowering to help in tackling anti-Jewish hate.
He said: “For us to just be passive is a massive mistake. The Lubavitcher Rebbe said that you have to be an active participant in life.
“That means each of us individually, every day, practically need to like and share, a few times a day, something of meaning and purpose that can bring some light to the internet experience.”
Mr Goldsmith is, however, no stranger to antisemitism himself. Speaking candidly, he revealed that as a teenager growing up in North London, he was on the receiving end of antisemitic abuse.
“It was rough and tough. I got beaten up a few times, for sure…[one] kid threw a coin at me and said ‘Dirty Jew, stingy Jew, pick up the coin’. It was in the toilet area, and I wasn’t going to pick it up.”
Mr Goldsmith added that, at times, he has even been “threatened with bricks and knives”.
Asked whether he ever felt like he was able to report those attacking him, he said: “I was a teenager by that point, a young teenager, and I just didn’t look to authority.”
The multifaceted rabbi comes from a family of promoters, notably Harvey and Martin Goldsmith, who were heavily involved in staging large professional wrestling for the then-WWF, now known as WWE, and music live events.
Speaking on his time rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest wrestling stars of the day, he joked that “It definitely gained me some popularity.”
“Hacksaw Jim Duggan came to my bar mitzvah, which is very cool. He picked up my grandma, a little Jewish lady, screaming ‘USA!’ I went on a tour to the US with them. In Pittsburgh, I was [at] a big WWF event, so I got to meet them all,” he revealed.
Such names included, but were not limited to, WWF Champions Yokozuna and Hulk Hogan. “My dad was actually quite close with Hulk Hogan. He calls him his ‘Holy Brother’!”
Throughout the interview, Mr Goldsmith also discussed a variety of other topics, including how he became involved in Breslov Judaism.
Podcast Against Antisemitism, produced by Campaign Against Antisemitism, talks to a different guest about antisemitism each week. It streams every Thursday and is available through all major podcast apps and YouTube. You can also subscribe to have new episodes sent straight to your inbox.