The Rockland County Board of Rabbis has engaged an award-winning communications firm, Beth Singer Design, to create a public relations campaign for the County’s Jewish community. Made possible by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Rockland County, the project aims to increase public understanding of the diverse Jewish population in Rockland – a population that is vibrant and tolerant and has a positive effect on life in the County.
Rabbis Paula Mack Drill, Adam Baldachin and Daniel Pernick are coordinating the project for the Board of Rabbis, working closely with representatives from Beth Singer Design, Rockland Federation and other local organizations. The project will kick off in the fall with the development of a photo/video campaign that highlights individuals in the County who are “likeable and recognizable” Jewish people.
Painting a positive picture of Rockland’s Jewish community is important to the Board of Rabbis. According to Rabbi Adam Baldachin, “We feel as though the public image of Jewish people here in Rockland isn’t accurate. Jewish Rockland is a best-kept secret, but it shouldn’t be a secret. We want to make known all that we do, all that we are, and the American values that are at our core.”
Over the next few months, video and still photo interviews will be conducted by Beth Singer Design at Jewish events taking place throughout the County. Dozens of interviews will be edited into short “slice of life” documentaries, posted online and shared virally though social media. Digital advertising will create greater awareness of the campaign as will press releases and opinion pieces that will be sent to media outlets.
According to Rabbi Drill, “our synagogues serve an important role in the county, both inside and outside the Jewish community, but there’s been a growing misunderstanding of who we are and what life here is like. Rockland has wonderful agencies, amenities and services. It has beautiful river towns and open spaces and is a great place to live. We need to get the word out.”
Changing public perception outside the County, however, is only part of the goal, says Rabbi Drill. “The ultimate goal is to create a healing in the community so that Jewish people here feel sturdier, stronger and proud of who we are.”