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Global influencers gather in New York City for Jew-hatred summit

“By representing Jewish culture with pride to your followers, you will have more of a far-reaching impact than you may even realize,” said the television personality Andy Cohen.

Montana Tucker takes a picture at a summit on Jew-hatred sponsored by the Combat Antisemitism Movement and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs from June 30 to July 1, 2024. Credit: Nir Arieli and Ohad Kab/Combat Antisemitism Movement.
Montana Tucker takes a picture at a summit on Jew-hatred sponsored by the Combat Antisemitism Movement and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs from June 30 to July 1, 2024. Credit: Nir Arieli and Ohad Kab/Combat Antisemitism Movement.

More than 300 influencers worldwide traveled to New York City earlier this week to fight antisemitism in a first-of-its-kind event.

“You are now on the precipice to decide which direction we go in. You only have to pick up your device to change the course of history,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “This is your moment to use your platforms to change the course of what we’re experiencing across the globe. There’s no room for hate in our city or on our globe. We can turn this around.”

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.), television personality Andy Cohen and others represented a diverse range of participants, including Holocaust and Nova festival massacre survivors, singers, storytellers and social-media standouts at the Voices for Truth: Influencers United Against Antisemitism summit.

A joint venture of the Combat Antisemitism Movement and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the summit comes amid a sharp rise in violent Jew-hatred since Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre and Israel’s military response, and concern that Israel is losing the global narrative battle.

“This is our chance to make a difference—to stand up for Jewish people and our values and the protection of minorities,” Sacha Roytman, CEO of CAM, told attendees. “To stand by is not an option anymore. Bring back activism and community leadership as a way of life.”

Andy Cohen, host and executive producer of “The Real Housewives” franchise and co-host of CNN’s annual New Year’s Eve event, addressed the audience at New York’s Glasshouse venue.

“Many of you have large social-media platforms, and that simply by representing Jewish culture with pride to your followers, you will have more of a far-reaching impact than you may even realize,” he said.

Andy Cohen CAM
Andy Cohen speaks at a summit about Jew-hatred sponsored by the Combat Antisemitism Movement and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs from June 30 to July 1, 2024. Credit: Nir Arieli and Ohad Kab/Combat Antisemitism Movement.

Many Jewish influencers have dealt with increasing levels of hate and lost business in the aftermath of Oct. 7 and their continued support of Jews and Israel. The summit included panel discussions and other platforms to chart a path forward.

Cohen hosted an influencer town hall with Jewish content creator Melinda Strauss, yoga instructor and gray-hair influencer Lynn Shabinsky, business consultant Joseph Yomtoubian, social media personality Baby Ariel, pro-Israel activist Lizzy Savetsky, fashion designer Julia Haart and others.

Speaking of the thousands of followers she has lost for defending Jews online, Shabinksy said, “We don’t need them. We’re here as people. We need to survive. The money will come later.”

Eric Adams CAM
New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaks at a summit on Jew-hatred sponsored by the Combat Antisemitism Movement and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs from June 30 to July 1, 2024. Credit: Nir Arieli and Ohad Kab/Combat Antisemitism Movement.

Montana Tucker received the CAM Impactful Activism Award from Natalie Sanandaji, a survivor of the Nova music festival massacre. 

“Jews today have a voice. We are strong. We are powerful, and we are resilient. We are fortunate to have social media to use our platforms to reach people all around the world,” Tucker said.

“We have experienced brand deals fall through, death threats, but we’ll continue to fight every single day, and we will not give up,” she added.

Sanandaji helped to bring attention to the plight of the hostages whom Hamas and other terrorists continue to hold in Gaza.

Ritchie Torres CAM
Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) speaks at a summit on Jew-hatred sponsored by the Combat Antisemitism Movement and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs from June 30 to July 1, 2024. Credit: Nir Arieli and Ohad Kab/Combat Antisemitism Movement.

‘The absurdities of anti-Zionism and antisemitism in America’

Holocaust survivor Tova Friedman, who runs a popular TikTok account, told those in attendance about her final days at Auschwitz. 

“I tell myself ‘Never again,’ and here we are, antisemitism again,” she said.

Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Matisyahu performed and participated in a fireside chat with author and influencer Jen Cohen. Author and speechwriter Aviva Klompas led a panel discussion on “Navigating the Science of Social to Maximize Impact.”

Comedians Yechiel Jacobs, LE Steiman and Josh Zilberberg took part in a conversation on how to fight antisemitism with comedy, media personality Donny Deutsch moderated a student activist panel on campus antisemitism and a collection of Zionist LGBTQ community members discussed the gay community’s support for Hamas and the Palestinian cause, despite the latter’s violent anti-gay stance.

“The absurdities of anti-Zionism and antisemitism in America have become too dangerous to ignore,” Torres said. “What is unprecedented in our present moment is the algorithmic amplification of antisemitism on TikTok and on Twitter.”

“Social media is enabling antisemitism to spread to an extent and on a scale and at a pace that we’ve never seen before,” the congressman said.

Cohen included a call to action in his message to attendees.

“Be proud of being Jewish, and don’t shy away from showing it publicly,” he said. “Sometimes, the simplest displays or gestures are the strongest and most effective.”

Tova Friedman Aron Goodman
Holocaust survivor Tova Friedman and her grandson, Aron Goodman, speak at a summit on Jew-hatred sponsored by the Combat Antisemitism Movement and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs from June 30 to July 1, 2024. Credit: Nir Arieli and Ohad Kab/Combat Antisemitism Movement.

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