(Courtesy of Clean Speech) While hate speech spreads online and in-person like never before,
Jewish organizations, schools and synagogues are working together to bring volume 2 of the “Clean Speech” challenge to New York City
Hate speech online has been increasing so rapidly worldwide that the United Nations commissioned a special study on the subject last year, concluding that “Efforts in the fight against ‘the tsunami of hate and xenophobia’ in social media appear to be largely failing because hate is increasing, not diminishing,” and it’s no wonder why with everything going on in Israel right now.
One program that has proven successful in stemming the tide in several cities across the United States is the “Clean Speech” campaign, initiated in Denver in 2019 and created by The Jewish Experience. Aish New York is now bringing the program to the Big Apple through dozens of participating Jewish organizations from across the spectrum to participate in a 30-day “Clean Speech NYC” challenge. Last year, nearly 3,000 participants signed up for the mindful speech challenge and this year, 31 organizations, schools and synagogues are participating by sharing it with their communities.
The challenge began on Nov. 1 and will continue through the end of the month. Each day through Nov. 30, participants receive a daily video that teaches tools for positive, mindful speech based on timeless Jewish wisdom. Each participant is given a daily to-do that will plant the seeds to transform the way they speak and relate to others for the better. The daily videos arrive by email and each features a layperson from one of the many participating Jewish organizations, schools and synagogues in New York City.
“We knew this is the time to bring the campaign to New York City — even before we were unfortunately hit with the recent spate of celebrity hate speech in social media over the last couple of weeks,” said Aish COO Elliot Mathias.
“This campaign is unique in that it unites Jews and Jewish organizations from all backgrounds around a single issue that is tearing our communities apart: hateful speech. Whether in politics, social media, in schools, or in the workplace, gossip, slander and disparagement have become extremely commonplace, with such harmful consequences. Jewish and non-Jewish communities are suffering from more divisiveness and a lack of peace and unity. Clean Speech NY lays the foundation to address this issue. It has been transformative in other cities such as Denver, Ottawa and Chicago, and we are so excited to bring it to New York!”
The campaign has garnered the support of New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine and many organizations, schools and synagogues that have brought it to their own communities.
Those already signed on include; ADL, Ramaz, Schechter Manhattan, Chai Lifeline, Met Council, United Jewish Council of the East Side, AEPi, Hillel, NCSY, The Shefa School, Manhattan Jewish Experience, the Jewish Education Project and more.
Visit cleanspeech.com/nyc to sign up to join thousands of New Yorkers in the challenge. Also follow @cleanspeechnyc on Instagram to stay up to date on the campaign.