One of the powerful messages being displayed on a digital billboard campaign states: “We’re just 75 years since the gas chambers. So no, a billboard calling out anti-Semitism isn’t an overreaction.”
A massive billboard in Times Square is displaying the messages, which are from JewBelong, a nonprofit that launched the campaign to spark conversations.
“Anti-Semitism has gotten out of control and we need to talk about it,” JewBelong co-founder Archie Gottesman said. “Like any hate, it is not going to go away if people try to ignore it or pretend it’s not happening.”
Here is how some people in Times Square reacted to the billboard to FOX 5 NY:
“I think it’s wonderful. I think everyone should reach out and love one another instead of hating each other.”
“We just got to stick together. No matter what race you are, we are all human. We are human.”
“I think the idea is great for New York especially since it’s such a diverse area.”
“We have to live together. So, no more discrimination.
Gottesman said her nonprofit is getting various responses from Jewish people who have had painful experiences.
“I think it makes people feel a little less alone,” she said. “Like, gosh, you’re not the only person who people threw pennies at when they were little and you’re not the only person who someone said you killed Jesus.”
The nonprofit is expanding the billboard campaign to other cities across the country. But Gottesman said some cities haven’t been receptive.
“We had some trouble getting the billboard to go up in other cities,” she said.
But JewBelong has had luck in Philadelphia, Miami, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.
The campaign combating anti-Semitism will remain in Times Square for one month.