Brazil’s leading voice in social media stars in Jewish identity campaign

JTA

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RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A Brazilian journalist who was elected LinkedIn’s #1 voice in 2016 is starring in a campaign to reinforce the Jewish identity among members of Latin America’s second largest Jewish community.

Marc Tawil, 43, spoke about the Jewish  influences in his life and career in a 10-minute-long video in Portuguese as part of the web-based “Judaism Does Good” campaign run by the Sao Paulo Jewish Federation. A journalist, radio broadcaster and writer, he has written some 60 articles read by more than 7 million people.

“I believe Judaism not only does go for me but also for all people who have contact with it. Perpetuating Judaism is about the values,” Tawil said in the video. “I always affirm myself as Jewish both inside and outside the Jewish community. I am proud of the Jewish schools I have attended and for having started my career in the Jewish media,” he added.

The campaign was inspired by another initiative from 2003 called “Judaism feels good and does good,” which featured advertisements in major newspapers and magazines and over 30 billboards targeting the 36 million inhabitants of Sao Paulo state.

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“The current video campaign seeks to show Jewish values that inspire the good and prove that good people exist and that together we can and we need to fight for a better world. More than success stories, what unites us is our values. We look for attitudes and examples that inspire and motivate,”  the federation said in a statement about the campaign.

The original campaign from 15 years ago pictured five local personalities photographed with Jewish symbols, including TV star Luciano Huck, who runs the most-watched Saturday afternoon youth television program, featured blowing a shofar.

“We wish to reach those who are distant from any kind of Jewish life by rescuing their pride for Judaism and traditions, and making them contribute to their institutions,” the federation’s president at the time, Jayme Blay, told JTA. “We must inform the society of what we do as Jews not only for Jews, but for everyone who needs charity.”

Marc Tawil, 43, has some 130,000 followers on LinkedIn and thousands on Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network on the Internet, has nearly 30 million users in Brazil, the platform’s third largest market after the United States and India.

One of his articles alone had 3 million views. Titled: “Punctuality tells a lot about you. Your lack of punctuality tells even more,” it tackled a cultural aspect of the Brazilian culture.

Sao Paulo is home to some 60,000 Jews, or half of Brazil’s Jewish community. In 2016, some 700 Brazilian Jews immigrated to Israel, an all-time record, saying they were escaping the astonishing urban violence and political instability, and looking for better quality of life.

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