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Fighting Anti-Semitism With Jews of All Stripes

Fighting Anti-Semitism With Jews of All Stripes

Four diverse Jews are part of city’s new ad campaign. NYC Commission on Human Rights
Four diverse Jews are part of city’s new ad campaign. NYC Commission on Human Rights

New York City is hoping that a new ad campaign will make Jewish New Yorkers feel comfortable despite a recent spate of anti-Semitic attacks.

The campaign, launched last week by the city’s Commission on Human Rights, consists of four ads each featuring a photograph of a different Jewish New Yorker and a bold proclamation: “Jewish New Yorkers belong here. Anti-Semitism does not.”

The ads will appear online and in three Orthodox publications — Hamodia, Jewish Press and Mishpacha Magazine — but feature Jews from diverse backgrounds.

“I think it’s undisputed right now that Jewish communities, both those who are visibly Jewish and those who are not, are feeling particularly vulnerable and are looking for allies, for solidarity, for support and we hope that this campaign addresses some of those concerns and that fear,” said Dana Sussman, a deputy commissioner who helped develop the campaign.

Sussman appears in one of the ads. The other New Yorkers featured are Yosef Rappaport, a chasidic Brooklyn resident and community activist; Laura Shaw Frank, a Bronx resident and Orthodox feminist; and Marques Hollie, a Manhattan resident and queer Jew of color.

Rappaport said he had agreed to participate in the campaign after criticizing the city for excluding visibly Jewish New Yorkers from previous ads on other topics.

“I’m active on social media and I also sometimes rightfully or wrongfully complain when New York City has promotional material ads for all kinds of stuff, tourism and all, showing the diversity of people, [but] they hardly ever show chasidic children, men or women,” he told JTA in a voice message on the WhatsApp messaging platform. “Now that they asked me it was kind of difficult for me to say no.”

Rappaport said he hoped the campaign “will have the desired effect of making us visible, that we belong.”

In addition to running the ads in the three Orthodox publications, the commission will also promote the images on social media and in digital ads on the New York Jewish Week website. The campaign cost $50,000, city officials said.

Shaw Frank wrote in an email to JTA that she had been concerned about recent anti-Semitic attacks and that participating in the campaign “felt like something concrete I could do, instead of just feeling helpless.”


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