Be a Mensch

December 10, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Today is Human Rights Day and the Sydney Jewish Museum launches a new campaign that, together with Holocaust survivors and high-profile community leaders across Sydney, urges people to practise small acts of kindness on an everyday basis to make the world a more accepting and welcoming place.

The campaign aims to inspire those it touches to Be A Mensch, because right now the world needs more mensches.

A mensch, in Yiddish, is a person of integrity, morality, dignity, with a sense of what is right and responsible. But mensch is more than just an old Yiddish adage. It is relevant now, across the world, more than ever…

“To be a mensch is to be supportive. To be a friend, to be calm in troubled times. To support others.” The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, former Justice of the High Court of Australia

“A mensch is involved in noble actions such as being a promoter of peace, unity, love and harmony; helping people, especially those in need; treating people equally without any kind of discrimination; having a desire to give something back to society; helping people who cannot help you; leading by example; having a caring heart; and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.”

Noel Zihabamwe, Chairperson of the African Australian Advocacy Centre and Member of the Advisory Committee for Australian Human Rights Institute.

“Do not to hate. Respect people. Have dialogue with people from different backgrounds.” Olga Horak, Holocaust Survivor



The Sydney Jewish Museum has developed the Be A Mensch campaign to make the lessons from the Holocaust and all of human history, past and present, relevant today. The campaign aims to inspire individuals to, in some way, whether big or small, do more for others, their community, and the world at large, to ripple outwards and create positive change. The campaign asks the public to use the hashtag #BeAMensch to join a bigger conversation about doing good.

The campaign will be rolled out from Tuesday 10 December through online and outdoor media channels.

Strategy development: Richard Sauerman – The Brand Guy Design: Alphabet Studio
Photography: Gary Heery
Campaign Ambassadors:

Brandon Srot, Counsellor, Leadership Coach and Facilitator
Breann Fallon, Educator, Academic and Podcaster
Eddie Jaku, Holocaust Survivor and Finalist for the NSW Senior of the Year Award 2019
Melanie Penicka-Smith, Event Manager, Co-founder Pacific Pride Choir
The Hon Michael Kirby, former Justice of the High Court of Australia
Noel Zihabamwe, Chairperson of the African Australian Advocacy Centre and Member of the Advisory Committee for Australian Human Rights Institute
Olga Horak, Holocaust Survivor
Susan Moylan-Coombs, Broadcaster, Educator and First Peoples Social Justice Advocate

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