The American Jewish Committee (AJC) has awarded $50,000 to ideas created by young Jews as part of the Disrupt U.S. Antisemitism initiative.
“Disrupt Antisemitism was launched as attacks on Jews, Jewish institutions, and practices have dramatically increased,” AJC said in a statement.
Ideas include a satirical news show and an interfaith coalition of high school students dedicated to fighting hate, the advocacy organization added.
Disrupt Antisemitism is the first incubator to fund innovative ideas by young American Jews to combat anti-Semitism.
Over 70 submissions were studied by a panel of AJC staff, journalists, and business leaders considered. Five finalists were selected to receive $10,000 in seed money from AJC as well as access to AJC experts in advocacy, finance, and technology to help launch their projects locally, nationally, and online.
“Bold new ideas are critical to combat the growing threats to Jews in the U.S.,” said Meggie Wyschogrod Fredman, Director of AJC’s Alexander Young Leadership Department. “The creative thinking of Jewish innovators will help the rising generation of American Jews lead us in fighting hate.”
Winners of the initiative were announced only a week after AJC’s The State of Antisemitism in America 2021, the largest survey of American Jews and the American public on anti-Semitism, was released.
Among its findings were that 90 percent of American Jews believe anti-Semitism is a problem, nearly one-quarter reported they experienced anti-Semitism in the last 12 months and 39 percent limited their activities or concealed their Jewishness out of safety concerns. In addition, 86 percent of American Jews, between 18-35, think anti-Semitism is a problem, with 37 percent saying it’s “a very serious problem,” in the U.S. today, and 30 percent said it has increased a lot over the past five years.
Winning projects of the Disrupt Antisemitism initiative include: The New Zionist Congress, whose goal is to combat the rising tide of anti-Zionism in youth-centered spaces; Jew or False, a digital content series designed to fight anti-Semitism, is a satirical news show that aims to fight Jew-hatred, inspire Jewish pride, and correct misinformation on issues important to the Jewish community; and Intercommunity Youth Initiative, conceived by students from Yeshiva University Los Angeles High School, will bring Jewish and non-Jewish high school students together for a fellowship program designed to build trust, foster understanding, and fight antisemitism and racism.