DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Miami Valley is coming together in a powerful response to hateful messages that targeted the Jewish community earlier this month.

Taking inspiration from Cincinnati’s Upstander Project, the Greater Dayton community launched its own version this past summer, with the goal of fostering unity and countering hate.

The incidents of antisemitism deeply affected the Jewish community, and the Upstander Project is committed to standing up for anyone who feels threatened or marginalized.

This initiative aims to cultivate a community of upstanders who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to support both themselves and others in a safe and inclusive environment.

“It’s pretty much a safe zone for people to share how they feel, but also how to better stand up for what is right,” participant Adama Diakhate said. “If something can happen to any community, whether it’s a Jewish community, Muslim community, Christian community. Whatever happened, whatever tragedy happened to any community or any human being, it is something that we all should stand up but also sympathize.”

The Upstander Project is built upon four pillars: education, dialogue, social engagement and community action.

Bonnie Beaman Rice, the chair of the Jewish Relations Council, said people have enjoyed getting to know one another and feels the upstander project could make a lasting positive impact on the community.

“We leave a legacy, really a community legacy,” she said. “People will feel welcome here, feel safe here, and feel that they have allies here.”

The next meeting is scheduled for October. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more, please reach out to the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton for additional information.