This op-ed, written by WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps member Ariel Krok, was originally published in Portuguese on the Times of Israel on 1 February 2021.
Just over five years ago, the World Jewish Congress, which represents communities in over 100 countries, created the global #WeRemember Holocaust awareness campaign, in an effort to combat all forms of discrimination and persecution worldwide.
Posting a photo with the hashtag #WeRemember, participants hoped to use social media as a tool to touch the hearts and minds of people across the world, of all faiths and backgrounds.
Over the years, the #WeRemember campaign began to climb in popularity and in 2020 the hashtag #WeRemember trended as the number one topic on Twitter in countries including Germany and Canada and was the fourth most talked about topic on Twitter globally with more than 270,000 registered tweets. Each year on International Holocaust Remembrance Day the campaign continues to grow.
In these five years, there have been millions of posts from average citizens and social influencers, including artists, sportsmen, journalists, judges, heads of state, dignitaries of nations, kings and queens, religious leaders, and even the Pope, culminating in billions of views. The fight against racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, misogyny, Islamophobia, homophobia and all forms of discrimination is a day-to-day battle - that continues to be extremely necessary in these trying times.
With so many people posting, commenting, sharing, and increasing the number of views, an awareness and culture of remembrance about the Holocaust has been created that serves as a critical and comprehensive catalyst for awareness among a vast diversity of people.
In Brazil, where I live, the participation of soccer clubs from our country was a unique contribution that gives me a great sense of pride – after all, soccer is practically a religion in this part of the world. Indeed, nearly every Major clubs including Atlético Mineiro, Botafogo, Corinthians, Flamengo, Fluminense, Grêmio, Internacional, Palmeiras, Santos, São Paulo, Clube do Remo and Vasco da Gama invoked the hashtag #WeRemember in honor of the millions of victims of the Holocaust.
Of the 12 teams that participated, 10 are the most popular in Brazil, and three - Flamengo, Corinthians and São Paulo - are among most popular in the world, according to FIFA. This is no small feat for remembrance.
And to close the tributes came the beautiful t-shirt that Clube do Remo wore while playing in the Series C Final of the Brazilian Championship, imprinted with the message #WeRemember.
There was no shortage of friends and allies contributing to this difficult task of recruiting the teams to participate in this year’s campaign, so I leave here my immense gratitude to the many people that worked so hard behind the scenes to ensure that it would be a success.
Our goal is to fill the heart with hopes for a better world, without hatred, without violence. For that, #WeRemember.
The WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps is the flagship program of the World Jewish Congress, under the vision and leadership of WJC President Ronald S. Lauder. This program empowers the new generations of outstanding Jewish leaders. A selective worldwide network of over 300 Jewish young professionals from 50 countries receiving opportunities, experience, and skills to impact Jewish interests through diplomacy and public policy.