April 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

‘Clean Speech’ Takes Manhattan

While hate speech spreads online and in person like never before, Jewish organizations, schools and synagogues are working together to bring the ‘Clean Speech’ challenge to New York City.

(Courtesy of Aish) Hate speech online has been increasing so rapidly worldwide that the United Nations commissioned a special study on the subject last year. The study concluded 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.”

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.

Every day in November participants will receive a daily video that teaches tools for positive, mindful speech based on timeless Jewish wisdom. Each participant will be 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 will 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,” he added.

The campaign has garnered the support of many organizations, schools and synagogues in New York City as possible to participate by bringing it to their own communities. Those signed on already include: ADL, OneTable, Chai Lifeline, Moise Safra Center, The Idea School, AEPi, Hillel, NCSY, The Shefa School, Manhattan Jewish Experience, the Brownstone and more. Visit https://cleanspeech.com/nyc for more information about the campaign, to become a community partner or to sign up to participate.

The campaign begins on November 1, and will include a community-wide Nissim Black concert on Tuesday, November 8. Tickets to the launch event can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/clean-speech-nyc-presents-nissim-black-in-concert-and-conversation-tickets-430199998777

One can also follow @cleanspeechnyc on Instagram to stay up to date on the campaign.

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