Day of Jewish Unity to bring scourge of antisemitism to forefront

‘Since Nazi Germany there has not been this scourge of anti-Semitism on such a large scale and in such prominent arenas’

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September 19, 2019 23:34
3 minute read.
Day of Jewish Unity to bring scourge of antisemitism to forefront

Some 15,000 people take in Acheinu's Day of Jewish Unity at the Western Wall in 2017.. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The Jewish world is set to unite in a call of action on Tuesday as part of Acheinu’s Day of Jewish Unity, Acheinu’s Day of Jewish Unity, which aims to highlight the scourge of antisemitism gripping the globe.

Acheinu is the outreach division of Dirshu, the world’s largest Torah organization.

“The Day of Jewish Unity was conceived by Rabbi Dovid Hofstedter, the founder and leader of Dirshu,” spokesperson for Day of Jewish Unity Josh Nass told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. “The vision of Rabbi Hofstedter was to bring Jews together in prayer throughout the world to say Psalms and pray for peace and stability.”

Now in its fifth year, the Day of Jewish Unity “coincides each year with the yahrzeit of Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan, better known as the Chofetz Chaim because of the book he wrote on ethics and the evils of gossip and slander, ‘lashon hara,’” Nass explained.

“This year’s Day of Jewish Unity is a focused ‘call to action’ to pray for peace and the safety and security of the Jewish people in light of the worldwide rise in antisemitism. Since Nazi Germany there has not been this scourge of antisemitism on such a large scale and in such prominent arenas.”

For Acheinu, the goal of this global initiative is to emphasize that “heartfelt prayers by Jews worldwide can help suppress the recent rise of antisemitism. Acheinu also calls on Jews worldwide to refrain from gossip and pledge to honor all people with dignity and respect. This day will afford both Jews and non-Jews across the globe the opportunity to refrain from bigoted speech and pray that this unfortunate trend in antisemitism will cease.”

In previous years, the event has “promoted civility in our political discourse given its increasing polarizing nature, and praying for world peace,” Nass said. However this year’s theme is important “because it is focusing on combating the upward trend of the scourge of antisemitism in any manifestation in which it might percolate.

“As of late, way too regularly there is another antisemitic incident taking place in the world,” Nass highlighted. “Many get little or no press but even when they do get press, the incidents are quickly forgotten.

“Acheinu wanted to bring attention to this upsetting upward trend in antisemitism including bringing non-Jews into the discussion because unless we get people to stand up and say no more, never again, it is going to continue to worsen,” he stressed.

Several well-known influencers in the United States, such as Anthony Scaramucci and TV commentators Noelle Nikpour and Jessie Jane Duff, have also gotten involved in the Day of Jewish Unity. “[They have] taken a public stance in support of this day and they have done so in the form of op-eds,” Nass told the Post.

Nass added that in the last few years, people from both sides of the political spectrum – from former governor Mike Huckabee to Democrat attorney and frequent on-air pundit Danielle McLaughlin – “have come out in support of this important annual initiative.”

The unity day has seen some 100,000 participants each year, and this year is expected to be no different. “There is virtually no Jewish community in the world that has not been touched and impacted by Dirshu,” said Nass.

Dirshu will also be hosting a series of prominent festive gatherings marking the completion of the seven-and-a-half year cycle of daily Talmud study – from December through March – at major venues worldwide in Israel, the US, France, the UK, South Africa, and various locations in South America and Eastern Europe.

Nass encouraged Jews from across the globe to commit for a mere five minutes, which can be performed at home, in a synagogue, at a school or place of work. “This year – with the threat of antisemitism rising – all Jews are encouraged to participate.”


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