January 9, 2018 Agencies
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The World Jewish Congress has launched its second annual #WeRemember initiative to combat anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred, genocide and xenophobia. 

Students at the King David Victory Park High School in Johannesburg, South Africa participating in the WJC’s 2017 We Remember campaign. (Courtesy of WJC)

“Around the world today, anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, and hatred of others continue to rear their ugly heads. We must remember because there are fewer and fewer survivors among us, and within just a few decades, all will have passed. We must remember because ‘never again’ seems to happen again and again,” said World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder. “It is now the responsibility of the younger generation to teach their friends about the horrors of hatred, and to spread the message that never again must mean never again.”

As part of the campaign, the WJC is reaching out to millions of people across the globe to photograph themselves holding a #WeRemember sign, and post the image to social media, to help make spread the message as widely as possible. More than 250 million people were reached in 2017 campaign, with participants including heads of state, celebrities and average people from around the world. This year, the WJC hopes to reach 500 million people.

A schoolteacher in Rwanda participates in the WJC’s 2017 We Remember campaign, incorporating the message into a lesson about the Holocaust. (Courtesy of WJC)

Lauder added: “We launched the inaugural We Remember campaign last year with the goal of symbolically reaching six million people as a meaningful way to remember our past while also protecting our future.  In today’s digital age, social media is the only tool that can allow us to connect the world together with this message. The initiative far exceeded our expectations and became more than just a campaign. It became a worldwide grassroots movement, of real people and real stories, shared from the heart.”

The campaign will run through International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the end of January, culminating with a live projection of all participant photos, interviews with Holocaust survivors, and messages from influencers from varied backgrounds, professions, ages and religions on the grounds of Auschwitz-Birkenau January 24-27. Campaign materials will be translated into dozens of languages and posted on the WJC and partner channels throughout the month.

The goal of the campaign is to ask people around the world to do a simple yet meaningful task that would inspire conversation and help teach a new generation. Through multi-lingual videos and posts, the international community became aware of the campaign and started posting their pictures.

Those who spread the message in 2017 included Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister of Belgium Charles Michel, German Justice Minister Heiko Maas, US Senator Chuck Schumer, and Congressmen Jerrold Nadler and Eliot Engel, philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, and unexpected supporters of all religions, political views, and backgrounds, including an Imam from France, the President of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, average citizens from Rwanda, Ghana, Morocco, Fiji, Uruguay, Chile, Latvia, Germany Kazakhstan, and Holocaust survivors themselves. Within just a few weeks the #WeRemember became the number one trending topic in Germany and other countries around the world.

Visit http://www.worldjewishcongress.org/en/weremember to follow the WJC’s 2018 We Remember campaign

The WJC is the leading international organisation representing more than 100 diverse Jewish communities on six continents

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