#IAmAJewToo r u?

Antisemitism. The only universally institutionalized term for hatred of any specific group on earth.

There is no equivalent word for hating blacks, or gays, or Muslims. (Yes, there is “Islamophobia”, but that does not mean hate. It means fear.) Is that to say that hatred of these and a myriad other groups does not exist? Of course not! Sad to say that hate is endemic to the human condition and it seems it will always rear its ugly head wherever a head can be reared.

But what is it about Jews that evokes the most severe, vitriolic, and relentless hatred throughout history?

Is it that the Jewish people are the most philanthropic group in America (76% donate to charity vs. 63% of the rest of America, according to Nonprofit Quarterly)? Or perhaps because 22.5% of all Nobel Prize winners are Jewish, wherein we make up only .2% of the world population? Maybe it’s the way that Israeli emergency relief teams are the first to respond to natural disasters all across the globe? Or how Israeli tech is relieving drought, saving lives, and revolutionizing world productivity on such a tremendous scale?

Somehow, hate crimes against Jews represent more than half of all religion-based hate crimes in America. Antisemitism is reaching epic and exceedingly dangerous proportions across the globe. And perhaps the saddest part of all is that more and more Jews are turning away from their faith as a result.

After the Pittsburgh massacre, I started a social media effort to fight Antisemitism. Using hashtag #IAmAJewToo, I had hoped to rally my Jewish friends and family to wear their Judaism proudly and put a positive, human face on world Jewry. After all, a large proportion of Antisemites have never even met a Jew.

What I got instead was hundreds of people telling me that either they were scared to post, embarrassed to post, or–quite frankly–just didn’t care enough about their Judaism to post. I don’t know which response saddens–or perhaps sickens–me the most.

Hundreds of others have, in fact, posted with #IAmAJewToo and #EuTambemSouJudeu hashtags, though the number should be in the thousands. The tens of thousands. The millions.

If you are on social media and you are Jewish, then there is a very good chance you have “friends”, “fans” and “followers” who do not know you are a Jew. And statistically speaking, there is a good chance some of them hold latent or blatant Antisemitic beliefs. By joining the #IAmAJewToo movement, you can help wake up the world to the amazing reality that Jews are awesome. Jews are incredible. Jews are wonderful. Jews are amazing. And Jews do not deserve Antisemitism.

Let’s change the narrative together, because we as Jews–as individuals–can make a difference. We can spread love and hope and positivity and we can show the world. We rock!

#IAmAJewToo

If you like me (and all my smiley lines), you like a Jew. ✡️
Anti-Semitism is reaching epic proportions (again), as if the world has never learned the lessons of the past.
I won’t sit by idly and watch this happen. I am a good person, I do good things in this world, and I am proud to be a Jew. I will never be ashamed. I will never be scared.
I am the product of a Jewish upbringing, Jewish Day School, and the one theme that repeats more than any in Judaism is “Shalom Aleichem”. PEACE TO ALL WHO COME.
I was never once taught to hate any person or people. All I was ever taught was that Jews cannot afford to hate. We know how hate turns out and we will never be a party to it.
If you are proud to be Jewish—no matter who you are—please post a picture of yourself with hashtag, #IAmAJewToo and tag Shana Meyerson and one or more friends to share alike.
I pass this to three Israelis I admire so deeply, @roye_gold , @yogavered , and @talia_sutra .
And to @missmayim , the most dignified and unapologetically Jewish celebrity I know.
Please continue this chain and spread the love.

About the Author
Shana Meyerson is a proud member of the World Jewish Congress's Jewish Diplomatic Corps and AIPAC. Professionally, she is an internationally acclaimed yoga instructor, based out of Los Angeles, California.
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