New ad against antisemitism focuses on New York's Jewish diversity

The commission has run similar campaigns to combat racism, Islamophobia and discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

Marquis Hollie hopes the campaign can increase awareness of diversity in the community and bring Jews together. (photo credit: NYC COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS/JTA)
Marquis Hollie hopes the campaign can increase awareness of diversity in the community and bring Jews together.
(photo credit: NYC COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS/JTA)
New York City is hoping that a new ad campaign will make Jewish New Yorkers feel comfortable despite a recent spate of antisemitic attacks.
The campaign, launched Wednesday 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.”
Ads using text only will appear will appear in three Orthodox publications — Hamodia, Jewish Press and Mishpacha Magazine. Ads featuring images of Jews from diverse backgrounds will be promoted on social media by the commission.
“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 hassidic 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 hassidic children, men or women,” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in a voice message on the WhatsApp messaging platform. “Now that they asked me, it was kind of difficult for me to say no.”
Rapaport said he hoped the campaign “will have the desired effect of making us visible, that we belong.”
One of the images in the New York City Commission on Human Rights campaign features hassidic activist Yosef Rapaport. (Credit: NYC Commission on Human Rights/JTA)One of the images in the New York City Commission on Human Rights campaign features hassidic activist Yosef Rapaport. (Credit: NYC Commission on Human Rights/JTA)
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 antisemitic attacks and that participating in the campaign “felt like something concrete I could DO, instead of just feeling helpless.”
Orthodox feminist Laura Shaw Frank is among those featured in the campaign. (Credit: NYC Commission on Human Rights/JTA)Orthodox feminist Laura Shaw Frank is among those featured in the campaign. (Credit: NYC Commission on Human Rights/JTA)
The commission has run similar campaigns to combat racism, Islamophobia and discrimination against the LGBTQ community. The city is also responding to the recent spate of antisemitic incidents in other ways, including by launching an education campaign in schools and creating an Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes.
Hollie said he hoped the campaign would yield benefits even beyond combating antisemitism.
“The Jewish people are a racially and ethnically diverse group of people,” he said in an email. “My hope is that this campaign will not only remind the public about this, but also remind us that our community is multi-faceted and that we, collectively, are pillars of support for one another in times of joy as well as times of adversity.”