Jay-Z, Russell Simmons Team To Combat Anti-Semitism

Jay-Z and Russell Simmons have teamed up to produce a public service announcement aimed at combating anti-semitism.

In addition to running his non-profit organization The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, Simmons serves as chairman of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.

The foundation’s mission is to foster and develop positive relationships with other ethnic groups.

The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding’s president Rabbi Marc Schneier will present the campaign today (Nov. 12) at the World Jewish Congress Board of Governors meeting in Paris.

According to The Jerusalem Post, Rabbi Schneier is hoping that local Jewish communities will broadcast the ad in their hometowns.

“It’s a whole different ball game when you have two African-Americans [who] are considered demigods,” Rabbi Schneier said. “We cannot fight our battles alone. We cannot do it. And these ads are a manifestation of that,” he said.

The spot will be converted into Spanish, Russian, French and other languages using Voxonic translation technology, a new software being marketed and developed with the help of fellow mogul Andre Harrell.

The PSA will be run in the United States, Europe and South America.

The spot features Simmons, who founded Def Jam in 1984 with the company’s current President Jay-Z asking viewers: “What’s hot? Respect for people. What’s not hot? Hating people for their color or religion.”

The commercial is slated to run nationally in January in the United States, to coincide with Martin Luther King Jr. day.

Time/Warner has donated over $10 million in air time for the PSA.

In related news, Jay-Z will hit seven cities in 17 hours as part of Cingular’s “Jay-Z Hangar Tour,” which will stop in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Washington, DC; New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

The rapper will perform for radio contest winners in the various cities in airport hangars in support of his new album Kingdom Come, which hits stores Nov. 21.

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