Antisemitism is the leading hate crime in the U.S. and incidents of hate and assault are on the rise, reports the FBI. Some 55% of hate crimes target Jews — although they make up only 2% of the American population.
To combat antisemitism, Shine A Light, a purpose-driven convening platform is exposing modern antisemitism in all its forms. Now in its third year, it launched its 2023 campaign — “Break Bread” — yesterday, the first night of Hanukkah.
One in every four American Jews has been targeted by antisemitism over the past year. According to an ADL (Anti-Defamation League) report, 312 antisemitic incidents were recorded between October 7-23, 2023. Long before Hamas' October massacre in Israel, 2022 saw an alarming 49% increase of antisemitic incidents in K-12 schools and a 41% increase on college campuses.
This social-first initiative has been organized to help people navigate conversations about antisemitism and hate. It's moderated by Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, a rabbi at Central Synagogue in Manhattan and the first East Asian-American to be ordained as a rabbi. Also featured are social media influencer Hannah Bronfman, actress Téa Leoni and comedian Elon Gold, who break bread together and share their experiences.
“Break Bread” can be found on social media — Instagram, Facebook, X and TikTok — using #BreakBread and #ShineALight.
The organization works with both Jewish and non-Jewish partners to increase awareness and take action against antisemitism.
Shine A Light also teamed with Jake Cohen, the bestselling cookbook author and chef, to highlight its message and illustrate how food can bring diverse communities together.
“What Shine A Light is doing is exposing antisemitism for what it is, a message of hate, in order to forge a positive path forward,” said Rabbi Buchdahl.