New initiative to train influencers in combating antisemitism is launched

Several notable Jewish leaders including Natan Sharansky have expressed support for ProZ.

 Social media: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok (photo credit: Courtesy)
Social media: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok
(photo credit: Courtesy)

A new initiative to train online influencers to lead the fight against antisemitism was inaugurated on Tuesday to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27 – the day Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated in 1945.   

Dubbed "ProZ," the virtual training is slated to feature six sessions beginning this February in an effort to mentor activists to become masters in combating antisemitic content and act together against intolerance on social media.

The course will focus on issues such as classic and contemporary trends of antisemitism, image effective messaging, the secrets of social media, social media monitoring and how to turn from individual to influencer.

Several notable Jewish leaders have expressed support for ProZ. 

“To succeed in the struggle against these dangerous phenomena, we have to confront antisemitism on all fronts simultaneously – those who hate and demonize Jewish people and those who hate and demonize Israel as the state of Jewish people,” said Natan Sharansky, chairman of ISGAP – The Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy and a former Jewish Agency chairman.

Natan Sharansky, a former refusenik, Soviet prisoner, and human rights activist who became the Free Soviet Jewry movement's symbol after he was jailed for nine years in a Gulag prison (credit: Courtesy)Natan Sharansky, a former refusenik, Soviet prisoner, and human rights activist who became the Free Soviet Jewry movement's symbol after he was jailed for nine years in a Gulag prison (credit: Courtesy)

“We have to pay special attention to social media, which acts as an accelerator of hatred and racism towards Jews and others," he said. "We need to find creative solutions at the individual and group level. Therefore, the ProZ initiative is very important; I applaud their efforts.”

"The Simon Wiesenthal Center is honored to participate in the groundbreaking ProZ project,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean and director of Global Social Action Agenda for the center. “It is designed to empower young people who want to defend Israel where it counts today: on social media. We all face a tsunami of online antisemitism, and tomorrow’s influencers need to know how to respond."

Influencers who will take part in the program as guest speakers include Hayvi Bouzo, a Syrian journalist based in DC and the founder of Yalla Productions, an entertainment program in Arabic.