Amid a widespread rise in antisemitism in North America, ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) 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.
“On Hanukkah, families gather the world over to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, and good over evil,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “After another year of horrific and violent antisemitic acts here in the U.S., it is our hope that millions of Americans from all walks of life will join in solidary with the entire Jewish community to say, ‘Enough is enough.’”
Across North America, antisemitism is on the rise. In 2020, ADL’s annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents counted 2,024 antisemitic acts across the U.S., the third-highest year on record since ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in the 1970s. In March, ADL also tracked a significant spike in antisemitic incidents during the increase in hostilities between Hamas and Israel, logging 251 incidents over the course of three weeks. And, according to the FBI, 55% of all religiously motivated hate crimes in 2020 were against Jews, who make up just 2% of the U.S. population.
As part of the coalition, ADL’s social media channels with highlight eight ways to shine a light on antisemitism, coinciding with each of the eight nights of Chanukah, and the organization will host national and local events through its network of 25 regional offices across the country. Also as part of the initiative, on Dec. 2 ADL is hosting a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) webinar for human resources professionals focused on addressing antisemitism in the workplace.
From November 28 to 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: On November 28, Shine A Light will make 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 will 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.
- Educational Resources: Curricula, lesson plans, modules, articles, videos, and other educational materials designed to help people recognize antisemitism in all its modern forms will be 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 will be available.
- Social Media Tools: A full suite of stickers, filters, GIFs, and other social media assets will be available across all major platforms, including TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
- Advertising: A robust print, online, broadcast, and out-of-home media campaign will launch in all 50 states.
Major participating corporations in Share A Light include: 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.
“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.”
“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, Clear Channel Outdoor, 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.”
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.