NEW YORK, Nov. 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Amid a widespread rise in antisemitism in North America, an unprecedented coalition of over 60 American and Canadian Jewish and non-Jewish organizations and corporations are launching Shine A Light, a comprehensive initiative to illuminate the dangers of antisemitism through education, community partnerships, workplace engagement, advocacy, and media.
Shine A Light uses the powerful story of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, to champion the message that light can dispel darkness. It seeks to catalyze conversations within and across communities, on school campuses, and in the workplace, so that people will better understand what constitutes antisemitism and take steps to respond.
Across North America, antisemitism is on the rise. In 2020, according to the FBI, 55% of all religiously- motivated hate crimes were against Jews, who make up just 2% of the U.S. population. One in every four American Jews has been targeted by antisemitism over the past year, and nearly four in ten report changing their behavior for fear of being identified as Jewish, or for their safety or comfort as Jews. Antisemitism persists across society in “polite” conversation as well as in explicitly dangerous and insidious forms, and typically tracks with broader patterns of discrimination, progressions of violence, and the fraying of democracy.
To date, Shine A Light has partnered with major corporations such as AllianceBernstein, American Eagle Outfitters Inc., Chelsea Football Club, EVERFI, iHeartMedia, NASCAR, National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), Tennis Channel, Turner Construction Company, and YouTube to increase awareness and action against antisemitism.
From now through December 6, during the Jewish holiday of Chanukah, Shine A Light will spotlight modern forms of antisemitism, raise awareness, and inspire action to fight it at every turn across America—in workplaces, schools and campuses, and online.
- Buildings Shining a Light: Shine A Light is making a visual impact on cities across America by lighting iconic buildings yellow, the color of candlelight and a symbol of Chanukah. Shine A Light buildings include Silverstein Properties’ 3 World Trade Center, 4 World Trade Center, and 7 World Trade Center, plus the Oculus in New York City; US Bank Tower in LA; 1735 Market Street in Philadelphia; and 100 Peachtree in Atlanta, with more to come.
- Community Events: Cities and towns including New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Kansas City, Atlanta, Dallas, Toledo, Miami, San Antonio, and Toronto will hold events to raise awareness about antisemitism. A full event calendar is available at shinealighton.com/events, and includes:
- Tuesday, November 30 (nationwide): The Jewish Education Project hosts a virtual conversation with Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt, White House nominee to serve as Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism.
- Tuesday, November 30 (Kansas City, MO): A new, original work by a local playwright and Jewish community member will be performed in order to spark reflection and discussion about antisemitism. The play features three volunteer teen actors, two of whom are leaders in the local Jewish community. (Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City)
- Wednesday, December 1 (Atlanta, GA): An in-person, interfaith celebration featuring presentations by the ADL (Anti-Defamation League), the AJC Black/Jewish Coalition, local rabbis, elected officials, musical guests, and interfaith allies from the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Episcopal Archdiocese of Atlanta, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church will also be live-streamed. The program will be followed by a young adult social hour hosted by the Philos Project. (Jewish Federation of Atlanta)
- Thursday, December 2 (Columbia, SC): A virtual program and in-person lantern walk featuring local elected officials, community leaders and interfaith partners. Community members are encouraged to walk outside with lanterns or other lights, and share on social media why they are choosing to shine a light on antisemitism. (Jewish Federation of Charleston, Columbia Jewish Federation)
- Educational Resources: Curricula, lesson plans, modules, articles, videos, and other educational materials designed to help people recognize antisemitism in all its modern forms are available for teachers, parents, school districts, and all those looking to expand their knowledge.
- Workplace Engagement: Antisemitism resources for corporate partners to include in their Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) programming is available. Additionally, ADL (Anti-Defamation League) is hosting a virtual event, Why We Should Talk About Antisemitism in the Workplace: A Discussion for DEI and HR Professionals, on December 2.
- Social Media Tools: A full suite of stickers, filters, GIFs, and other social media assets is available across all major platforms, including TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
- Advertising: A robust print, online, broadcast, and out-of-home media campaign is launching in all 50 states.
“Our communities flourish when we work together and support each other,” said Mark Wilf, President and Co-Owner of the Minnesota Vikings and Chair and Co-Owner of the Orlando Pride. “As a professional sports team owner and the chair of the Jewish Federations of North America, I am proud to see sports organizations engage with their communities to step up and Shine A Light on antisemitism.”
“This Chanukah, we couldn’t be prouder to shine our bright lights in Times Square on the urgent problem of antisemitism,” said Jay Schottenstein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American Eagle Outfitters Inc. “American Eagle is centered on integrity and dedicated to our people—employees and guests alike. That’s why we urge all Americans to spotlight antisemitic words and actions wherever they appear, and stand up for our shared humanity.”
Shine A Light is a coalition of major advocacy groups including ADL (Anti-Defamation League), American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Fund, Facing History and Ourselves, JewBelong, JCC Association of North America, the Jewish Education Project (JEP), the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), the National Black Empowerment Council, Philos Project, UJA-Federation of New York, and dozens more national and local groups across the United States and Canada.
“The National Black Empowerment Council is incredibly proud to join the coalition shining a light on antisemitism this Chanukah,” said Darius Jones, NBEC Founder & CEO. “Now more than ever, we need to stand up for one another—and that means African Americans and Jews continuing to nourish a powerful and mutually supportive relationship. We are stronger together than we are apart, as Shine A Light will show.”
Many of the nation’s largest out of home media companies have provided Shine A Light with tens of millions of pro bono impressions. Via the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), the industry’s lead trade association, pro bono inventory was donated by Branded Cities, Firefly, Intersection, Lamar Advertising, OUTFRONT Media, and Vector Media. And via DPAA, a global DOOH marketing organization, pro bono inventory was donated by Captivate, National Retail Solutions, and Xaxis.
“This Chanukah, iHeart is standing in solidarity with the Jewish community to raise awareness of the dangers of antisemitism,” said Gayle Troberman, President and Chief Marketing Officer for iHeartMedia. “We hope that including ‘Shine A Light’ as an iHeartRadio Communities Spotlight Media Grant partner will inspire communities across the U.S. to take action against antisemitism and create a more compassionate world.”
“Too many Jews in America feel alone in the face of rising antisemitism, but we can all take action—in this case, through important public service messages of awareness,” said Anna Bager, President & CEO of the Out of Home Advertising Association of America. “This Chanukah, OAAA is proud to shine a light on antisemitism by rallying our member media companies for pro bono donations of premium ad space. We are thrilled at their generous response, and their passionate support of our Jewish communities through this campaign.”
About Shine A Light
Shine A Light is a comprehensive initiative to spotlight the dangers of antisemitism through education, community partnerships, workplace engagement, and community advocacy. Fueled by an unprecedented coalition of over 60 North American Jewish and non-Jewish organizations from across the United States and Canada, Shine A Light draws from the inspiration of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, to encourage Jews and allies to speak up and send a message that antisemitism, in all its modern forms, won’t be tolerated in our communities.
Visit www.ShineALightOn.com for a full slate of events, resources, and tools.
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