Raising Antisemitism awareness during rush hour
Photo: Courtesy Charles Pulman
This billboard at 121 and Main in The Colony is one of seven in the Dallas area.

First round of straightforward billboards launch

By Sharon Wisch-Ray

Dallas community leaders Charles Pulman, Nate Levine and Kenny Goldberg have launched a billboard campaign in recent weeks to raise awareness about antisemitism and support for Israel. It is the second time Pulman and Levine have run a billboard campaign through Pulman’s organization Why Israel Matters, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. The first time was in 2011, with messaging, “Israel Preserves the Holy Land for All.”

Pulman and Levine were troubled by the escalation of antisemitism and almost simultaneously thought it was time for another campaign.

“With everything going on today with all the antisemitism and all the bashing of Israel, I just thought this is a great time to try to raise some money and do it again,” Levine said.

Pulman added, “I was getting ready to call Nate and he called me and said, ‘Charles, it’s time to put up some billboards again.’”

The pair enlisted the help of fellow community leader Kenny Goldberg and the three immediately began fundraising for the effort. So far, they have raised more than $100,000, which will allow them to run three campaigns on seven billboards throughout the Dallas area, hopefully throughout the summer.

Each of them reached out to people in the community who they thought would be interested in supporting the project and it has been well-received. At press time, they had received donations from 42 people, Jews and non-Jews, ranging from $10 to $20,000.

The first set of seven billboards have been up for a few weeks with the message: “Stand Against Antisemitism”; the second round will feature an Israeli flag and say “Stand With Israel” and begin June 17; the third round has not been determined.

Pulman said he wanted to keep the message simple and bold, so it would be easy for people to read from their cars. He shared the project idea with Shande Hasse, a Christian Zionist he met through Sar El (Volunteers for Israel). Hasse, whose background is in public relations, designed the digital billboards, which run on a loop for eight seconds at a time every 64 seconds.

“Charles was sharing this idea with me. And I said, ‘Well, if you need any help from a design or marketing standpoint, that’s what I do by trade,’” said Hasse, who lives in Lubbock. “I’ve worked on a lot of different billboard campaigns and advertising initiatives throughout the years and so it’s right up my alley. And it’s been a great project to work on.” Hasse and her husband, Nathan, started their own organization called America for Israel (americaforisrael.us) about four years ago. Hasse said that the heart of her organization is the goal of  building a “Rolodex” of influential ambassadors championing Israel.

“It’s been a slow build, but a steady one, and obviously, things have picked up significantly since the horrific attacks in Israel on Oct. 7,” she said. Hasse’s organization quickly put together a prayer gathering on Oct. 15 in which more than 150 people were in attendance including state representatives and congressmen. They established an Israel Relief Fund and raised $150,000 that evening. So far they have sent more than $105,000 to Israel for work on the ground in Israel.

Hasse sees the billboard campaign as crucial and one that is certain to resonate in other communities. “It’s going to take all of us, Christians and Jews, We have to come together and what a blessing we are coming together for such a time as this,” she said.

Goldberg said he is pleased to see the ad campaign off to a strong start and is considering expanding it into other communities like Austin and Houston. He said the importance of raising awareness with a simple message is crucial, especially when people are inundated with anti-Israel rhetoric.

“We’re never going to change the true antisemites and haters. Jew-haters are never going to change their minds,” he said. However, Goldberg said, there are a lot of regular folks out there who might not know what antisemitism is and he hopes the billboards will pique their curiosity.

“If they see it three or four times over a couple of weeks, maybe they’ll go Google antisemitism or maybe they know what it is, but just hadn’t thought about it.”

Goldberg said that what is going on right now is really pretty straightforward and he hopes that is what people will realize.

“It’s not complicated. It’s a matter of right versus wrong and good versus evil,” he said.

To make a donation to the billboard campaign, a check can be mailed to Why Israel Matters, 17215 Graystone Drive, Dallas, TX 75248 or through a Donor Advised Fund at the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation or other foundation.

Billboard locations:

The corner of LBJ and Preston in the United Texas Bank parking lot

I-30 and Belt Line facing West

I-35 and Valwood Parkway facing South

121 and Main in The Colony

75 and Meadow Road facing North

Dallas North Tollway at Trinity Mills facing South

Dallas North Tollway at Forest facing North

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