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Amid a widespread rise in antisemitism in North America, Milwaukee Jewish Federation has joined an unprecedented coalition of over 60 American and Canadian Jewish and non-Jewish organizations and corporations to launch 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.
As part of the coalition, Milwaukee Jewish Federation will raise awareness for antisemitism and the Shine A Light movement in coordination with our “Hanukkah on the Hoan” livestreams and bridge lighting (MilwaukeeJewish.org/HanukkahOnTheHoan).
“This Chanukah, we are immensely proud to Shine A Light on antisemitism—which still exists in our society, in polite conversation and in more dangerous and insidious forms,” said Federation President & CEO Miryam Rosenzweig. “By lighting Chanukah candles on one of our city’s most iconic pieces of infrastructure, we are conveying in no uncertain terms to our community that it’s up to all of us to be aware of antisemitism—and take action against it.”
Through December 6, during 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.
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.”
About Milwaukee Jewish Federation
Through the development of community-wide financial support, planning and allocations, the mission of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation is to ensure the continuity of the Jewish people, to enhance the quality of Jewish life and to build a strong unified Jewish community in Milwaukee, in Israel and throughout the world. In fulfilling its mission, the Federation is committed to the principles of Klal Yisrael (the collective unity of the Jewish people), tzedakah (the obligation to care for one another) and tikkun olam (improving the society in which we live).
About Shine A Light
Across North America, antisemitism is on the rise. In 2020, 57.5% 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 Jew. 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.
Throughout the eight days of Chanukah, Shine A Light will illuminate modern forms of antisemitism and inspire awareness and action to fight it at every turn across America and Canada—in workplaces, schools and campuses, and online.
Website: www.shinealighton.com for a full slate of events, resources, and tools
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