JewBelong billboard
A new billboard by JewBelong on Miramar Road. Courtesy of the organization

A New York-based organization that seeks to fight antisemitism while promoting “joyous Judaism” has unveiled three colorful billboards along San Diego roadways.

The billboards by nonprofit JewBelong feature both lighthearted and poignant messages designed to provoke thought in San Diego, which has a Jewish population of approximately 100,000.

Organizers cited a 34% increase in antisemitic incidents in California last year as one reason for a “loud and proud” campaign that now numbers over 350 billboards across the country.

“Although it might not seem obvious, strong Jewish pride and respect automatically makes one braver about calling out antisemitism, because they know more about what they are standing up for,” said JewBelong co-founder Archie Gottesman.

The three billboards that went up last week are:

  • “So you eat bacon. God has other things to worry about” — El Cajon Boulevard and 67th Street
  • “Can a billboard end antisemitism? No. But You’re not a billboard.” — University Avenue and Aragon Street
  • “Judaism: Come for your girlfriend. Stay for the lack of Hell.” — Miramar Road and Miramar Place

“JewBelong mines Judaism for the essence and the relevance of the religion and then we explain that in easy-to-understand language,” said Gottesman. “When people, no matter where they are on their Jewish journey, understand the relevance, love and the commonsense practicality of Jewish teachings it is game changing.”

The San Diego billboards will remain up through the annual Jewish High Holidays, coming down on Sept. 25.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.