Mayim Bialik, Gene Simmons, Jason Alexander Among 170 Entertainment Leaders Forming Black-Jewish Alliance to Fight Racism and Antisemitism
A group of 170 Black and Jewish members of the entertainment industry announced the formation on Monday of the Black-Jewish Entertainment Alliance, designed to foster unity between the Black and Jewish communities in order to fight racism and antisemitism together.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the announcement was timed to coincide with the beginning of Black History Month, and was launched with a statement of unity signed by 170 industry figures, including Big Bang Theory actress Mayim Bialik, acclaimed director Antoine Fuqua, Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr., Motown Records president Ethiopia Habtemariam, legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, Seinfeld actor Jason Alexander, former CEO of Paramount Pictures Sherry Lansing, and Israeli-born KISS musician Gene Simmons.
The statement reads, in part, “We acknowledge that the Black and Jewish communities have a shared history of subjugation and persecution.”
“We recognize that the Black community in America has faced a history of racism that continues to this day, while the Jewish community is currently encountering record levels of antisemitism, which affects both groups’ sense of fear, vulnerability, and self-worth,” it continues.
It pledges, “As members of the entertainment community, we stand against all forms of hate, and pledge to work to bring our two communities together in solidarity, to support one another in our struggles, and to better understand each other’s plight and narratives.”
Jews, the statement says, must “speak out against racial injustice,” while the Black community must “speak out against all forms of antisemitism.”
“I love and work with the Black and Jewish Alliance because I am a Jewish artist who makes a living off black art: Hip hop!” said the rapper Rami Even-Esh, who performs as Kosha Dillz, to The Algemeiner. “My entire life is indebted to the relationship of both communities … With our world seeing an uptick in antisemitism and racism simultaneously, it is important to be part of something that has a table where strong representations of each community can update each other on the energy in our mutual communities and how we can come together to create new art that”ll give the world some healing.”
The signees included music and film executives, actors like Tiffany Haddish and Jeremy Piven, comedians like Jeff Ross and Larry Wilmore, and the late TV host Larry King.
“I’m a member of the Black-Jewish Entertainment Alliance because I find great beauty and hope in the solidarity between our two communities historically and in this present moment,” the music reporter Eve Barlow told The Algemeiner. “I firmly believe that when both our communities come together to fight common enemies, we will be able to stamp out the hatred that threatens to divide and conquer us.”
“As an artist and advocate for strong black-Jewish relations, I am happy to see efforts to bring the black and Jewish communities together,” said the artist and songwriter Joshua Washington to The Algemeiner. “I believe that in the same spirit of Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington, and Dr. Martin Luther King and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, our two communities can continue to move forward in a real way together.”