American Jewish Committee (AJC) is launching today #BeAMensch, a new initiative to encourage and highlight acts of kindness and decency during the Coronavirus pandemic. Mensch is Yiddish for “a person of integrity and honor,” or, put simply, a good person.

“In the face of the unique adversity of COVID-19, everyday acts of kindness to others becomes particularly vital. Anyone can be a mensch by helping a family member, a neighbor, a stranger, an elderly person, by confronting Coronavirus pandemic despair, or in so many other ways. The important thing is to extend oneself on behalf of others,” said AJC CEO David Harris.

Already there have been examples of countless individuals engaging in mensch-y behavior, from providing comfort to those in quarantine to reaching out to those most vulnerable and speaking up for groups targeted by hate and xenophobia.

Each day, uplifting stories from across America and around the world will be featured at and on AJC’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Although a mensch generally refers to a person, we’ll also be highlighting mensch-y behavior on the part of groups, institutions, organizations, companies, and even countries.

AJC also will be sharing tips on the sorts of things one can do to be a mensch and lend a helping hand—or elbow—during this challenging time.

To participate in the #BeAMensch initiative:

  1. Visit and share stories of mensch-y behavior from your community.
  2. Share your stories of kindness and decency on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, using the hashtag #BeAMensch.
  3. Add the #BeAMensch frame to your Facebook profile picture and encourage your friends to do the same.
  4. Follow this link to learn how you, too, can be a mensch, while complying with whatever restrictions may currently be in place wherever you are.
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