February 8, 2022 — New York, NY
American Jewish Committee (AJC) today released a new episode in its popular Arabic-language video series that explains the history and diversity in the American Jewish community and how it has long been linked to other religious and ethnic minorities.
The animated film, Who Are the Jews of America?, is part of the AJC series ‘An al-Yahud (“About the Jews”). It tells the story of American Jewry, beginning with the community’s origins to the present day. While the film notes American Jews’ experiences with antisemitism, it focuses on Jewish life in the United States and on the seminal contributions Jews have made to American society.
“The Arab world is more open to learning about Jews and Judaism than ever before,” said AJC CEO David Harris. “Nevertheless, dangerous stereotypes and widespread ignorance about American Jews persist, feeding antisemitism in some corners of the Middle East and North Africa. While AJC has introduced our community to Arab leaders and government officials for decades, this video tells the story of our community to a vast new audience, broadening general understanding of American Jews and setting the stage for even stronger ties in the years to come.”
The film also discusses American Jewish diversity, explaining that while American Jews come from a variety of backgrounds and reflect a vast array of beliefs, they are united by their sense of community and belonging to the Jewish people. Placing a particular emphasis on American Jews’ involvement in the civil rights movement and in the struggles of other religious and ethnic minorities in America, the film illustrates the significant overlap between Jewish values and American values. The film is also being released in English.
The film is the seventh in the ‘An al-Yahud series, which has been viewed by tens of millions of Arabic speakers, including in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia, the West Bank and Gaza, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. Launched in early 2020, the project’s Arabic-language social media channels have more than 750,000 followers.
The previous six videos focused on the origins and beliefs of the Jewish people, the history of Muslim-Jewish relations, the Holocaust, Jewish ties to Jerusalem, the antisemitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and Israel’s remarkable diversity. Encouraged by the success of AJC Arabic, AJC, the leading global Jewish advocacy group, recently launched AJC Farsi, a social media effort to reach Iranians in Iran and around the world.
‘An al-Yahud builds on AJC’s unique, extensive, and longstanding engagement with the Arab and Muslim worlds. In the U.S., AJC established the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council (MJAC) with Muslim and Jewish community leaders, offering a platform for advocacy on combating hate crimes, religious discrimination, and other domestic issues of common concern.
AJC representatives have also regularly met during the past three decades with Arab and Muslim leaders across the Middle East and North Africa to exchange views on matters of mutual concern, among them the fight against extremism, Muslim-Jewish relations, and deepening ties between Israel and Arab states.